Cover Story

Wet-gas tech asserts standing with largest plant in China

Gaining ever wider acclaim in the area of capturing and treating sulfurous waste gases, wet-gas sulfuric acid (WSA) technology recently passed a milestone. The largest WSA plant, a 300,000 ton per year sulfuric acid facility, came online this year in Huizhou, China. A process that captures sulfur in large enough quantities to ensure environmental compliance with room to spare, WSA draws equal attention for a key side benefit: the generation of commercial grade sulfuric acid.
Other features contributing to WSA’s popularity include the system’s overall efficiency when compared to the traditional alternative, a Claus plant. Unlike the Claus process, in which sulfurous waste is converted to elemental sulfur, WSA recovers more heat and the sulfuric acid produced is easier to transport and often more valuable than elemental sulfur. Plus, a WSA plant can be configured simply and with a small footprint, has low consumption of utilities, generates no waste products or wastewater, and offers a wide turndown capability.

WSA was developed and patented by Haldor Topsoe A/S in the mid-1970s, and the first plant started up in 1980. The process began as a spin-off from the company’s activities as a catalyst producer for the sulfuric acid industry. Catalyst for the production of sulfuric acid was the first catalyst Topsoe produced, and the company has been supplying it since 1944. Currently, Topsoe supplies its VK-WSA catalyst to the over 130 WSA plants it has licensed worldwide. READ MORE >>

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