Investigating efficiency improvement in sulfur recovery unit using process simulation and numerical modeling
Davidson School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2100, USA
2 South Pars Gas Complex, 75391/311 Assaluyeh, Iran
3 Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
4 Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, 98164-161 Zahedan, Iran
Accepted: 1 December 2020
Hydrogen sulfide exists mostly as a detrimental byproduct in the gas processing units as well as refineries, and it must be eliminated from natural gas streams. In a Sulfur Recovery Unit (SRU), hydrogen sulfide is converted into the elemental sulfur during the modified Claus process. Efficiency of sulfur recovery units significantly depends on the reaction furnace temperature. In this work, the effect of oxygen and acid gas enrichment on the reaction furnace temperature and accordingly on sulfur recovery is studied, using both numerical modeling and process simulation. Then, simulation and numerical model are benchmarked against the experimental data of an SRU unit. The validated model provides spotlight on optimizing the upstream sulfur removal unit as well as the oxygen purification process. Two cases of acid gas streams with low and high H2S content, 30% and 50%, are studied to investigate the effect of operating parameters on the overall recovery. Finally, average errors of the models are presented. According to the absolute difference with experimental values, the developed numerical model shows great potential for accurately estimating overall efficiency of the recovery unit.
© F. Fazlollahi et al., published by IFP Energies nouvelles, 2021
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.