Inderscience Publishers

A simulation study on the impact of operating conditions on desulphurisation selectivity in high–sulphur gas sweetening

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Using process simulation, this paper analyses the effect of operating conditions on desulphurisation selectivity in high–sulphur gas sweetening process. Furthermore, various influences of the operating conditions on energy consumption were compared by means of a sensitivity analysis tool. The conclusions are: a lot of H2S and CO2 require removed simultaneously from high–sulphur gas, which lead to low selectivity and an increase in the circulation rate and energy consumption. Pressure is the most influential factor of the operating conditions on the desulphurisation selectivity; it is mainly due to the effects of pressure on the CO2 physical dissolution in the amine solvent. Higher pressure will increase the acid gas loading of CO2 but decrease the desulphurisation selectivity. Other operating conditions include absorption temperature, circulation rate and the number of absorber trays has the similar influence on desulphurisation selectivity. Desulphurisation selectivity is closely linked to the energy consumption in the process. The reasonable operating principle of selective desulphurisation in high–sulphur gas processing is as follows: a relatively high absorption temperature and pressure, a low circulation rate and a small number of absorber trays. [Received: July 20, 2012; Accepted: October 20, 2012]

Keywords: high sulphur gas sweetening, process simulation, desulphurisation selectivity, operating conditions, amine solutions, energy consumption, pressure, absorption temperature, circulation rate, absorber trays

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