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Technology Profile: Sulfuric Acid Production from Sulfur

By Intratec Solutions |

This column is based on “Sulfuric Acid Production from Sulfur via Double-Contact Process – Cost Analysis,” a report published by Intratec. It can be found at: www.intratec.us/analysis/sulfuric-acid-production-cost.  Sulfuric acid (H2SO4) is among the most important industrial chemicals, with large-scale uses in several industry sectors, such as basic chemicals, fertilizers, petroleum refining, metals, explosives, detergents and plastics. H2SO4 is broadly used in different concentrations and grades. Major applications include its use as a dehydrating agent, catalyst, reactant in chemical processes, solvent and absorbent. The process The following paragraphs describe a double-contact process for sulfuric acid production (Figure 1) in which elemental sulfur is the source of sulfur dioxide (SO2). SO2 can also be obtained from several sulfur-bearing raw materials, including spent H2SO4 and smelter off-gases. Figure 1. The diagram shows the production of sulfuric acid from elemental sulfur via double-contact process[/caption] Sulfur burning. Elemental sulfur (in molten form) and dried air are fed into a combustion furnace, in which the sulfur is burned to produce SO2. The proportion of airflow relative to sulfur feedrate is…
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