In and of itself, a sulfur recovery unit (SRU) isn’t profitable. But you can’t run a refinery without it. If it shuts down, refinery capacity can be jeopardized or reduced. Our customer was dealing with hydrocarbon carryover in two parallel Claus-reactor trains, causing pressure drop issues. They were also seeing formations of nickel, vanadium, and iron sulfide creating layers of sulcrete above the beds. In the first train, the operational cycle had been reduced to just eight months, with 75 percent of the catalyst bed full of soot. Cycle length on the second train had been reduced to just six months. Capacity for the entire plant was at nearly one-third of its normal level.
Crystaphase recommended an inert filtration solution to replace the existing inert support spheres.
The cycle length for the first train jumped from eight to 32 months; for the second train, from six to 26 months. Collectively, that's more than four times the cycle length with no soot or other formations—fully restoring plant capacity.
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