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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X

J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. vol.109 n.8 Johannesburg Aug. 2009




Catalyst management



L. Hansen

Haldor Topsøe




Sulphuric acid plants now and then see unexpected increases in SO2 emissions. Our experience is that it is not always easy for the acid plants to pinpoint the exact reason for the SO2 increase.
Sometimes a catalyst bed is sacrificed even though reliable temperature readings and gas analyses could have verified satisfactory activity. Hence the leaking heat exchanger is never discovered and after the shutdown the SO2 emissions are still too high.
This paper will look into some basic catalyst management tools: good record keeping is a necessity for collection of representative catalyst samples; reliable operating data is an inevitable starting point for all analysis; and trending of operating data is a must for plant optimization and troubleshooting. In addition, these catalyst management tools will give continuous updated knowledge of the catalyst status in each bed, providing the basis for a more effective replacement strategy.
The most typical reasons for increasing SO2 emissions will be presented together with easy guidelines for cross-checking operating data, temperature optimization and good record keeping.



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