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How can refineries comply with stricter regulation of sulfur in fuels and emissions?


Refineries across the globe face tough challenges. On one hand, crude oil will contain more sulfur in the future. On the other hand, stricter environmental regulation demands significantly lower sulfur content in fuels (Euro V, Euro VI, MARPOL regulations) and emissions to the atmosphere. So what can refineries do to comply – without their whole business going sour?

Today, many refineries rely on Claus plants to treat the sulfurous off-gases from oil refining. But in most cases the Claus plant will not have sufficient capacity to treat the additional gas from more sour feedstocks and meet stricter emissions standards.

One solution to the dilemma facing refiners is to replace or supplement the Claus plant with wet gas sulfuric acid (WSA) technology. Used as a sulfur management unit, the WSA offers very high efficiency and outstanding flexibility that reflects refiners’ need to process a wider range of feedstock. And importantly, an attractive business case with an internal rate of return (IRR) above 30% and a pay-back time of less than four years.

I’m presenting a WSA case study on the upcoming Petrochemical & Refining Congress 2017 in Hamburg May 23 at 14:00, where you can get more insights on how Topsoe’s wet gas sulfuric acid (WSA) technology can replace or supplement the standard Claus plants. Looking forward to seeing you there.

In the meantime, you can read more about WSA here:

Haldor Topsoe sulfur removal process offering