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Why Should You Invest in a Sulfur Recovery Unit?

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The sulfur recovery unit adopts a unique process technology, which goes through a series of processes such as separation, combustion, catalytic reaction, and condensation to generate elemental sulfur from sulfur-containing components such as H2S in the acid gas, achieving sulfur recovery.

Investing in sulfur recovery equipment can help enterprises reduce pollution emissions and comply with environmental regulations and bring economic benefits through the recovery of sulfur products. Against increasingly strict global environmental policies and growing demand for sulfur and sulfuric acid markets, the sulfur recovery unit market has broad prospects and good investment potential. Considering process technology, related equipment, market demand, and global market analysis, the sulfur recovery unit is a strategically significant investment project.

As a professional supplier of sulfur recovery units, Ruichang has rich experience in sulfur recovery units and sulfur recovery process, we will elaborate on its process, related equipment, market demand, and global market analysis, and analyze the benefits of investing in sulfur recovery units.

Sulfur recovery unit process

The working principle of the sulfur recovery unit process is to convert sulfides in toxic sulfur-containing gases such as hydrogen sulfide into elemental sulfur through chemical reactions. This process not only reuses the waste but protects the environment efficiently.

The Claus process is the most commonly used sulfur recovery unit process in real applications. Through the high-temperature thermal reaction of acidic gas in the combustion furnace and the low-temperature catalytic reaction of the reactor, H2S is converted into elemental sulfur. This process includes the oxidation of acidic gas to elemental sulfur from H2S in the combustion furnace, as well as further catalytic reactions in the reactor to ultimately generate sulfur.

The claus process generally include several steps as follows:

  1. Gas treatment: Sulfur-containing waste gas (such as H ₂ S) first enters the hydrogen sulfide separation unit, separating most of H ₂ S.
  2. Combustion reaction: H ₂ S partially burns in the combustion furnace to generate SO ₂.
  3. Claus reaction: H ₂ S reacts with SO ₂ in the Claus reactor to generate elemental sulfur.
  4. Condensation recovery: The elemental sulfur generated by the reaction is condensed and collected in the condenser.

Tail gas treatment

  • Tail gas heating: Heating the tail gas generated by the Claus process.
  • Catalytic oxidation: H ₂ S in exhaust gas is oxidized to SO ₂ under the action of a catalyst.
  • Absorption and desulfurization: Further removal of SO ₂ and H ₂ S from tail gas through an absorption tower.
Claus method technological process
Claus method technological process

Other types of sulfur recovery unit process

  • Hydrogenation reduction sulfur recovery process: This process uses hydrogen to hydrogenate all non H2S sulfur-containing compounds such as SO2/COS/CS2/S in the tail gas of the sulfur recovery unit into H2S, and then absorbs and desorbs H2S through MDEA before returning to the acidic gas combustion furnace of the sulfur recovery unit for further sulfur recovery. The exhaust gas discharged from the top of the absorption tower only contains trace amounts of sulfides, which are discharged into the atmosphere after high-temperature incineration in the incinerator.
  • Wet Gas Acid Production (WSA) Method: This is a sulfur-containing wet gas direct acid production process. The raw gas is burned to generate SO2, which is converted into SO2. The wet gas is cooled and enters the SO2 converter to generate SO3. SO3 and the carried water vapor are directly condensed into acid in the condenser. The characteristics of this process are high sulfur recovery rate, single product, and concentrated sulfuric acid that meets commercial grade standards.

Related equipment of the sulfur recovery unit

The sulfur recovery unit involves various key equipment, and the performance and quality of these equipment directly affect the efficiency and cost of sulfur recovery:

  • Claus reactor: mainly used for the reaction of H ₂ S and SO ₂ to generate sulfur.
  • Condenser: used for cooling and collecting generated sulfur.
  • Combustion furnace: used for burning H ₂ S to produce SO ₂.
  • Tail gas treatment unit: including tail gas heater, catalytic oxidizer, absorption tower, etc.
  • Storage tanks and conveying equipment: used for storing and transporting recovered sulfur products.

Market demand for sulfur recovery unit

The market demand for sulfur recovery units is mainly driven by the following factors:

Environmental regulations

The control of industrial pollutant emissions is becoming increasingly strict in countries around the world, especially with regards to emission restrictions on sulfur dioxide (SO ₂) and hydrogen sulfide (H ₂ S). The sulfur recovery device can effectively reduce the emissions of these harmful gases and help enterprises comply with environmental regulations.

Market demand for sulfur and sulfuric acid

Sulfur is the main raw material for producing sulfuric acid, which is widely used in industries such as fertilizers, chemicals, and metallurgy. The growing global demand for sulfuric acid has driven the demand for sulfur, thereby increasing the demand for sulfur recovery devices.

Energy industry

The petroleum refining, natural gas processing, and coal chemical industries are important application areas for sulfur recovery devices. These industries generate a large amount of sulfur-containing waste gas during the processing, which needs to be treated through sulfur recovery devices.

Sulfur recovery unit market analytics in 2023

According to market research reports, the global sulfur recovery unit market has grown from approximately 9.7 billion yuan in 2019 to an estimated 16 billion US dollars by 2027, with a compound annual growth rate of approximately 6.6%. Among them, flue gas desulfurization equipment and sulfur recovery unit is one of the largest sub market in the sulfur recovery unit market, accounting for more than 30% of the market share.

On a global scale, China is the largest market for sulfur recovery units, accounting for over 40% of the market share, mainly due to the continuous strengthening of China’s environmental protection policies and the rapid development of industrialization. At the same time, the increasing energy consumption in the Asia Pacific region has also promoted the growth of the sulfur recovery unit market.

market size of sulfur recovery unit

In the domestic market, with the continuous strengthening of environmental protection policies and the transformation and upgrading of energy consumption structure, the sulfur recovery unit market is showing a rapid growth trend. According to market research reports, the market size of sulfur recovery units in China has increased from nearly 9 billion yuan in 2018 to nearly 20 billion yuan in 2023, with a compound annual growth rate of about 17%. The power industry is one of the largest application areas in the desulfurization equipment market. In recent years, with the continuous promotion of clean energy and the strengthening of environmental protection policies in China, the demand for sulfur recovery units in the power industry has also been increasing.

In addition, the chemical and metallurgical industries are also important application areas in the sulfur recovery unit market. With the development of the chemical and metallurgical industries, the production of chemical waste gas and metallurgical flue gas is gradually increasing, and the sulfur recovery unit is needed.

In summary, the sulfur recovery unit market is an industry with broad prospects. With the continuous strengthening of environmental protection policies and the transformation and upgrading of energy consumption structure, the market size will continue to expand. In the future development, sulfur recovery unit enterprises need to focus on technological innovation and quality improvement, explore new markets and application areas, in order to better promote their own development.

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