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Fluidized bed claus reactor studies Bonsu, Alexander Karikari


Fluidized bed reactor studies were performed on the Claus reaction, ie. 2H₂S + S0₂<->3/n S[sub=n]n + 2H₂0. The basic objective was to determine whether the performance of the Claus process could be improved by replacing conventional fixed bed reactors with fluidized bed reactors. A computational procedure was developed which, unlike previous methods, does not require the user to specify the initial values for the iterative solution of the equilibrium equations. It is therefore possible to achieve, consistently, significant reductions in computer time and cost. The computer programme was used to simulate various idealized Claus plants. The results of the equilibrium calculations indicated that, for feed gases consisting of pure H₂S, sulphur conversions in excess of 99% are attainable by using a Claus furnace and two fluidized bed reactors in series. To substantiate the theoretical predictions, experimental studies were performed using a single fluidized bed reactor (0.1 m ID). The effects of temperature (150 - 300°C), flow rates (15 - 30 1/min), feed composition (0.06<H₂S<18%, 0.03<S0₂<9%, 73<N₂<99.91%) and bed height (0.12, 0.25 m) on the sulphur conversion were examined. The experimental results showed the same general trends as the theoretical predictions. However, the measured sulphur conversions exceed the theoretical values by up to 8%. Reasons for these discrepancies are discussed. Based on the theoretical and experimental studies, fluidized bed reactors appear to be technically superior to the conventional fixed bed devices. However, a proper commercial evaluation has to await longer term studies with larger fluidized beds.

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