Day 1: Innovation/ Technology Day
The first day of the MESPON 2018 proceedings highlighted the power of collaborative innovativeness. According to the presentation, innovation consists of four degrees: incremental, disruptive, radical, and extreme breakthrough. Also, innovation includes four important paradigms: closed network, open network, competition, and collaboration. As noted in the presentation, combining these factors creates a higher value as opposed to the sum of individual contributions when done in isolation.
The presentation further highlighted examples of significant breakthroughs in the last two decades which included Philips, Nestle, and Porsche among others. To achieve this breakthrough, companies like Porsche enhanced their customer delivery by developing new capabilities and creating significant networks. In this regard, companies seeking to advance were driven by performance guideline with a strict deadline. The presentation also highlighted the need to explore new markets and added sulfur value for Middle East projects. In summary, day one underlined a roadmap for breakthrough through technological innovation and clear goals.
Day 2: Local and Global Experience
The second day of the proceedings focused on the Middle East sour plant operations. According to the report, Middle East has become a new global hub for sulfur and sour gas. Production estimations of sulfur indicate that the Middle East countries will dominate over 90% of global production. Considering the gradual increase in demand, these countries will, therefore, dominate the global market. Some of the emerging technologies that have made Middle East countries a hub for gas generation include digitalization, virtual reality, and machine learning among others.
Day 2 of the presentation further discussed the reasons sulfur is a significant interest globally. The presentation focused on food supply where sulfur is a substantial component in sulfuric acid, used in fertilizer production. According to the report, sulfur is an essential factor for growth in plants implying that its limitation would necessitate alternative production. However, sulfur production creates the issue of carbon dioxide emission repercussions. In this regard, it is important to consider alternative and clean energy production sources.
Day 3: Integrity in SRU
As noted in the presentation, the third day mainly emphasized the risks and performance improvements in sour gas processing facilities. It was established that sour gas plants entail numerous mitigation challenges. Machines and devices such as heat exchangers experience leaks due to corrosion of the CS tubes. Also, corrosion of the converter bypass liners is a significant challenge in the production of gas. In this regard, the presentation highlighted numerous measures to reduce the production of sulfur dioxide as a global necessity.
Some of the measures discussed include ensuring blower optimal performance. Fans show more discharge than required which limit the airflow. Besides, steam balance is paramount to assuring sulfur doesn't solidify. To achieve this, the engineering committee recommended the replacement of defected steam traps. Recovery of sulfur in the production is also imperative in facilitating efficient production and less environmental discharge. Finally, the paper highlights various advantages of selective H2S removal, mainly the reduction of sulfur emission by improving efficiency.
Day 4: Tail Gas Treating and Sulfur Recovery Part 2
The last day of the presentation indicates the plant limitations regarding recovery of sulfur. Various methods of ensuring an efficient thermodynamic process were discussed including increasing content of water to 30% while at the same time reducing SO2 and H2S concentrations. As noted by the engineers, use of new catalysts that enhance selective H2S oxidation results in higher recovery of sulfur.
Also, plant design which includes configuration of the SRU with new TGCU is a technological requirement highlighted. However, some of the design concern areas involve sticking of the inlet feed valve as well as the occurrence of re-heater fires. Besides, lean acid gas is a complication in the SRU which needs attention. After exploring various cases, it was established that AGE improves SRU operation by ensuring better gas quality. It was, therefore, concluded that all measures that strengthen tube improve desired quality issues.
MESPON Proceedings. (2018). Fifth annual forum Middle East Sour Plant Operation Network, Oct 14-17, 2018 Abu Dhabi, UAE.
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