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Sulfuric Acid in the Phosphate Fertilizer Industry

Phosphate Fertilizer

Fertilizer Plants Worldwide Depend on MECS® Sulfur-Burning Sulfuric Acid Process Technology

Around the world, farmers use fertilizers with three primary nutrients to improve the quality and yield of fruit and vegetable crops: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.  Some fertilizers, such as two-component fertilizers monoammonium phosphate (MAP) and diammonium phosphate (DAP), offer farmers an effective means of delivering both nitrogen and phosphorus to soils.  Sulfuric acid is used as a key first step in the production of both MAP and DAP, after which it is mixed with phosphate rock to produce phosphoric acid.  And since the phosphoric acid production process consumes energy, an on-site sulfuric acid plant – a net producer of energy – is a critical part of the fertilizer production process.

Elessent PF1

Assisting the Fertilizer Industry

Elessent Clean Technologies has developed a range of products and services designed to assist the fertilizer industry in improving emission control. These include Brink® Mist EliminatorsMECS® Catalyst and DynaWave® wet gas scrubbing technology. In addition, for close to 30 years, MECS® sulfur-burning  sulfuric acid process technology has helped fertilizer companies produce and recover energy while keeping a strict control on the level of SO2 emissions.

Today, the fertilizer industry has to balance the ongoing need to reduce capital costs while maximizing energy recovery and minimizing SO2 emissions. For this reason, we have engineered several configurations for sulfur-burning plants that can be customized to suit the unique utility cost profile of each fertilizer producer.

At the same time, MECS® technology can be used to efficiently and safely produce sulfuric acid derivatives, such as several grades of oleum and both gaseous and liquid-phase SO2 and SO3.  And our licensing model has been developed to offer end-users maximum flexibility to reduce capital cost through the choice of their EPC contractor.

Recovering Energy With MECS® Heat Recovery System (HRS)

Energy recovery continues to be an important driver of project economics.  Fertilizer producers face the continuous challenge of balancing overall site energy requirements, especially in large facilities with multiple sulfuric acid production lines, with cost considerations.  Over 30 years ago, these challenges led our company to look for step-change improvements in energy recovery based on innovations in materials science.

With 90 references worldwide and nearly 30 years’ proven operation, we are the world leader in HRSTM (Heat Recovery System) technology  for sulfuric acid plants.  With decades of expertise and multiple systems configurations, we can tailor the HRS™ design to the specific needs of individual fertilizer plants.  MECS® HRS™ can be designed to produce steam as low as 4 barg and as high as 10 barg.  It is also possible to customize the plant configuration to superheat HRS™ as part of an overall strategy to maximize power production.

We also offer HRS™ systems designed with MECS® steam injection technology, an exciting energy upgrade that has been included in 62 of the 90 sulfur-burning sulfuric acid plants we have designed for fertilizer producers worldwide.  Steam injection improves energy recovery, minimizes corrosion and reduces the vibration in the HRS™ diluter.

MAX3™ – Breakthrough Sulfuric Acid Technology

After years of searching for cost-effective solutions to reduce sulfuric acid plant emissions, many members of the sulfur and sulfuric acid industries have yet to find a system solution that matches their requirements.

Top of the list for most are low operating costs, maximized energy recovery and improved emission levels coupled with equipment integrity. This is precisely what the highly efficient MECS® MAX3 process sets out to do.  

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