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Sinochem Group starts up DuPont scrubbing system

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The Sinochem Group has successfully started up a new MECS® DynaWave® wet gas scrubbing unit, installed as a Claus tail gas treatment process. The new unit helps reduce emissions at a refinery in mainland China in order to meet current SOX regulations.

The Sinochem Group awarded DuPont Clean Technologies (DuPontTM) the contract to supply the technology license, engineering and proprietary equipment for this scrubbing system last year to ensure the refinery would comply with increasingly strict sulfur dioxide emission regulations.

For sulfur recovery unit (SRU) tail gas applications, the incoming gas to the scrubber can typically exhibit two distinct conditions: normal Claus operation condition and SRU bypass operation condition. At this 165 tpd capacity SRU, the SO2 emission levels during normal operation mode used be at levels that are no longer permitted in the area. During bypass conditions, the SO2 even reached peaks well above the emissions measured during normal operations. With the startup of the DynaWave scrubber, the Sinochem Group succeeded in significantly reducing airborne emissions from this refinery in all operating modes. SO2 emissions are now guaranteed to stay below 50 mg/DNm3 (corrected to 3% O2), even during Claus bypass conditions.

In the past, during the bypass operation mode, offgas from the catalyst would be released directly to the stack and into the air, causing environmental issues that are no longer permissible. Sinochem started to research different solutions to resolve these issues back in October 2015, and finally opted for the MECS DynaWave scrubber, a scrubbing technology licensed by DuPont.

Without further treatment, the outlet of a wet gas scrubber system would typically generate a white plume when released to the atmosphere. This is due to the water saturated gas exiting the stack and coming into contact with lower atmospheric temperatures. For visual optimisation of the entire investment, Sinochem had asked DuPont to eliminate any visible steam plume at its stack, which was much appreciated by the surrounding community.

The DynaWave scrubbers are designed to work with a variety of reagents and handle multiple functions in one vessel. As such, the process makes it possible to quench the incinerated gas and remove potential particulates while absorbing the remaining acids from the Claus tail gas treatment units (TGTUs). The technology also offers the flexibility of bypassing the SRU or the SRU tail gas system during maintenance and repairs, so operations can continue without interruption.

The technology has been successfully installed and used at more than 400 sites around the world in different industries. In the oil and gas industry alone, DuPont Clean Technologies has more than 150 successful wet scrubbing references globally. The large nozzles and open vessel design of the DynaWave scrubbers result in units that are virtually plug proof and able to handle any possible sulfur particulate entrainment. This results in higher on-stream time, lower maintenance and operational expenditures for the operator.

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