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GPA Europe

"Promoting Technical and Operational Excellence in The European Gas Processing Industry"

Who are we?

A bit of background

GPA founded in the US in the 1920's. In 1983, GPA Europe was established as a parallel organisation.

 

We currently have over 200 members, including the great majority of European gas companies. We aim to provide a forum to share ideas by bringing together business and technical leaders from a range of gas processing organisations across 20+ countries.

 

We are a not for profit organisation that brings players of the European Gas Industry together to do business around technical stories.

 

Here at GPA Europe, our role is two-fold:

1  GPA Europe promotes technical and operational excellence

2  GPA Europe serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas and information

How can we help you?

Our services

We will be highlighting a paper of particular interest from our archives each month.

Paper of the Month

This month we are looking back to a presentation from Jan Kiebert from Sulphur Experts, who presented during our Spring Conference in May 2019. 

"Why Sulphur Plants Plug"

"Plugging of piping and vessels within modified-Claus sulphur recovery units is extremely common, and the causes are often poorly understood and the proper solutions often improperly implemented. In some cases, the plugging causes additional pressure drop through the sulphur plant, resulting in reduced sulphur plant capacity and possibly limiting the gas plant or refinery throughput as well. In other cases, it results in complete blockage of parts of the sulphur plant, often meaning an unplanned shutdown, high SO2 emissions, expensive turnaround costs, and lost gas plant or refinery production. The first step in dealing with sulphur plant plugging is to have the proper monitoring methods to detect plugging, the right tools to locate where the plugging has occurred, and the right methods to analyze the plugging material in order to determine the root cause(s) of the plugging. The most common root causes of plugging include: soot formation from poor stoichiometry during fuel gas startups and shutdowns; ammonia salt formation from poor reaction furnace destruction and / or over oxidizing process environments; alumina dust from refractory or catalyst pieces and fines; iron based corrosion products from a variety of corrosion mechanisms; and frozen or high viscosity sulphur from incorrect process temperatures or incorrect vessel insulation / heating. The key to avoiding plugging is to understand and avoid these plugging mechanisms in the first place, and processing, design, and procedure options for each of these areas are discussed in this paper. In addition, some of these plugging mechanisms can be reversed on line, and recommended reversal procedures are also covered in the paper. The paper will include actual case studies from a wide variety of gas plant and refinery sulphur plants from around the world."

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