Alessandro Buonomini - KT Engineering
Environmental regulations all around the world are becoming more stringent imposing the production of fuels with lower sulfur content. On the other hand, the trend shows that in the refineries the crudes treated are always more sour, increasing the quantity of sulfur that must be removed in the refinery processes. In addition, also the emissions of SO2 from the industrial complex are now strictly monitored and limited to challenging values. These factors impose to treat higher quantities of H2S recovering it into elemental sulfur.
The best solution for sulfur processing capacity increase capable to fulfill Client’s request and to ensure the best performances must be evaluated together with an investigation of economic impacts.
The paper describes a case study performed by KT – Kinetics Technology on an increase of capacity in an existing SRU unit designed by KT for a longstanding Customer in Europe. The unit consists of two parallel Claus trains followed by a common TGT section using KT RAR™ technology.
Client expectation was to increase the sulfur production of about 50% of the design capacity without compromising the regular production of the refinery, thus all the modifications on the field were to be carried within the plant turnaround period (one month).
After an accurate feasibility study, in which all the options have been investigated, the use of enriched air (oxygen concentration below 28% by vol.) in the thermal reactor burner was selected. To further confirm the results of the study a week-long test with oxygen enrichment was carried on site reproducing the 50% capacity increase requested. The full study has shown that the system was suitable to withstand the requested operation and moreover, it has highlighted the bottlenecks of the system in the new operating conditions.
All the engineering modifications to the unit have been developed to minimize the impact on the existing systems and to fulfill the important goal of no production losses despite the revamping activities. The project has been completed on time and without deviation on the process guarantees ensured prior to the capacity increase. This confirms KT commitment toward Client’s support offering the technological know-how to achieve challenging performance goals from design up to the operation.
Alessandro Buonomini, chemical engineer graduated at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, is working on Sulphur Recovery & Tail Gas Treatment since 2003 when he joined KT – Kinetics Technology S.p.A. Beginning his experience as Process Engineer, he has increased his knowledge in Sulphur working on Basic, FEED and EPC Projects as well as on start-up of KT licensed plants worldwide.
From 2012 to 2017 he has held the position of Sulphur Group Leader in the Process Department of KT leading more than 20 Process Engineer. He has been the focal point for the Sulphur technology working together with all the disciplines for the development of Proposals and Projects and acting as liaison with the Clients guaranteeing a constant follow up and support.
Now he’s the Deputy of Head of Process, DSHE and Technology Department.