Project Synopsis

Determine and recommend solutions to the source of black soot pervasive in a waste liquid sulfur/organics incineration systems HCl and SO2 absorbers product streams.

Project Summary


The client owns and operates a specialty chemicals production facility that includes an incineration system designed for the oxidation of waste liquid sulfur and the organic fraction of plant-wide vent streams.  Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was subcontracted by a major architectural and engineering firm to execute a process evaluation of the unit.  Specifically, PROCESS’ charge was to determine the source of black soot that had become pervasive in the incineration system HCl and SO2 absorbers product streams and to develop process improvement/modification recommendations for mitigating the problem.  Project tasks included the following:

  • Site visit
  • Engineering documents review
  • Incinerator operational evaluation
  • Conclusions/recommendations development
  • Project report preparation.

The site visit was conducted for the purpose of observing incineration system operation, interviewing engineering/operations personnel relative to the sooting problem, and gathering incineration system engineering and operations information.  Following a review of the information, PROCESS developed a comprehensive heat and mass balance computer program for the purpose of simulating incineration system operation.  The simulation included characterization of the waste feed streams and determination of all major process operating parameters (temperatures, pressures, flow rates, etc.).  Based on unit operation observation during the site visit, the results of the process simulation, and PROCESS’ knowledge of, and experience with similar systems, the following conclusions were drawn:

  • The incinerator design was conducive for efficient oxidation of the plant liquid and vent waste streams
  • The soot was the result of introduction of unatomized organic liquid introduced via the plant vent system
  • Incinerator operating temperatures were too low for efficient oxidation of the foreign liquid

The sources of the organic liquid were identified, and vent/incinerator systems process improvement recommendations were developed and implemented that resulted in the elimination of the absorber products sooting problem.

Industry Type

  • Specialty Chemicals Manufacturing

Utilized Skills

  • Incinerator and absorber troubleshooting
  • Process equipment optimization

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