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Methods of Sulphuric Acid

• Wet process
• Lead chamber Process
• H2O2 Process
• Single Contact
• Double Contact Double Adsorption (DCDA)
Wet Contact Process

A more recently discovered process to manufacture


sulfuric acid was invented by Haldor Topsoe in the
1980’s called the Wet Sulfuric Acid Process. This
process starts off with making sulfur dioxide. The
sulfur dioxide is then converted to sulfur trioxide
which in turn is reacted with water to form sulfuric
acid in the gas form.
Advantages
There are little or no waste by-products
produced by this process. It is also the most
economic way to get rid of sulfurous waste
gases.
Disadvantages
This process produces an acid with low
concentration instead of the high
concentrations that the Contact Process
yields.
LEAD CHAMBER PROCESS

This process starts off by placing hot sulfur dioxide


gas in the bottom of a reactor called a Glover tower.
In this tower, the sulfur dioxide gas is mixed with
nitric oxide and nitric dioxide. Some sulfur dioxide is
oxidized into sulfur trioxide and dissolved in the
acid wash to make what is called Glover acid which
is about 78% sulfuric acid.
A mixture of gases from the Glover tower which
include sulfur dioxide, sulfur trioxide, nitrogen
oxides, nitrogen, oxygen, and steam are then
transferred to a chamber that is lead-lined to react
with water.

The acid condenses on the walls and collects on the


chamber’s floor. The acid in the chamber is between
62% and 68% sulfuric acid.
The gases are then passed into a reactor, the Gay-
Lussac tower, where they are washed with cooled
concentrated acid from the Glover tower. The
nitrogen oxides and unreacted sulfur dioxide
dissolve in the acid to form nitrous vitriol that is
used in the Glover tower.

The remaining gases are then discharged into the


atmosphere. Sulfuric acid at a concentration of 78%
is taken from the cooled acid steam that is
circulated between the Glover tower and the Gay-
Lussac tower.
Advantages
The original acid to be used can be obtained
at any concentration.
Disadvantages
This process is not used as widely as the
Contact Process is today mainly because this
process produces a more dilute acid than
the Contact Process which yields pure
sulfuric acid. The Contact Process also
produces a much larger amount of sulfuric
acid than the Lead Chamber Process.
H2O2 PROCESS

• Use of H2O2 can oxidize the SO2 to SO3 which is


then used to produce sulfuric acid.
• However, due to the high cost of H2O2 this
process is not economical.
• H2O2 is therefore used for oxidizing the
remaining traces of (dissolved) SO2 in the
circulating acid in the plant. This minimizes the
escape of SO2 from tail gases from the final
absorption tower.
SINGLE CONTACT
The process can be divided into five stages:
1. Combining of sulfur and dioxygen (O2) to form sulfur
dioxide.
2. Purifying the sulfur dioxide in a purification unit.
3. Adding an excess of dioxygen to sulfur dioxide in the
presence of the catalyst vanadium pentoxide, under
temperatures of 450 °C and pressure of 1-2 atm.
4. The sulfur trioxide formed is added to sulfuric
acid which gives rise to oleum (disulfuric acid).
5. The oleum is then added to water to form sulfuric acid
which is very concentrated.
Disadvantages

The conversion (SO2 to SO3) obtained


is low because of the kinetics and
equilibrium parameters.

To overcome this we use the recent technology DCDA


process
DCDA

In this process the product gases (SO2) and (SO3) are passed
through absorption towers twice to achieve further
absorption and conversion of SO2 to SO3 and production of
higher grade sulfuric acid. The conversion obtanied by using
this technology is 99.8%.
Ref
https://contactprocess.wordpress.c
om/similar-processes/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wet_
sulfuric_acid_process
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conta
ct_process#DCDA
http://www.greener-
industry.org.uk/pages/sulphuric_aci
d/4SulphuricAcidPMS.html
http://www.infoplease.com/encyclo
pedia/science/sulfuric-acid-
production-sulfuric-acid.html
http://www.essentialchemicalindust
ry.org/chemicals/sulfuric-acid.html