Elemental sulphur is now almost exclusively extracted from petroleum and natural gas in the Claus process. The sulphur compounds present are split into hydrogen sulphide and hydrocarbons and separated by amine scrubbers. The acid gas is partially oxidised to SO2 in the Claus process with atmospheric oxygen and then converted to elemental sulphur.
By enriching with oxygen, the plant's capacity is significantly raised, in order to simultaneously meet the stricter requirements with regard to SO2 emissions with, at the same time, increases in the sulphur content of the raw materials. The use of oxygen can also lead to an increase in the reaction temperature which promotes the destruction of harmful nitrogen-containing by-products.
The use of nitrogen in "Sulphur Pit Degassing" is for safety purposes as it prevents the accumulation of toxic hydrogen sulphide in liquid sulphur as well as the formation of flammable hydrogen sulphide-air mixtures.
- Significant increases in the acid gas throughput of existing plants/elimination of capacity bottlenecks with low investment expenditure
- Flexible capacity increase, e.g. "Peak Cutting" in the summer time
- Temperature increase for the destruction of harmful by-products
- Flexibility with regard to the raw material qualities used, the possibility of processing the acid water stripping gas via the Claus plant