Caroline Cerand - Structural Technologies
Molten sulfur containment has been for decades successfully provided by reinforced concrete structures placed in the ground for process stream delivery. These subsurface structures temporarily accommodate elemental sulfur extracted from the hydrocarbon process stream. The Sulfur Pits then distribute the molten sulfur via suction pumping to transportation modes that can include barges, railcars or tanker trucks. Regardless of the mode of transportation, the storage requires that the sulfur stay molten and surrounding environment protected from accidental ingress/egress of contaminants from the process stream. When correctly designed and constructed, subsurface Sulfur Pits can remain in service far beyond their original design service life.
Close attention to reinforced concrete design detailing, materials, waterproofing, construction practices as well as mechanical process penetrations can frequently be the difference between long term durable molten sulfur containment service or that of a short-lived deteriorated civil asset. Focusing on original reinforced concrete design aspects, detailing and materials of construction, the topic will be discussed at length. The discussion will highlight common pitfalls in design, detailing and construction defects that shorten service life and actions to correct original design/construction deficiencies prior to commissioning a new reinforced concrete Sulfur Pit.