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Two-Phase Dynamic Modeling and Simulation of Transport and Reaction in Catalytic Sulfur Dioxide Converters

He, Jianjun, Zhang, Junfeng, Shang, Helen
Industrial & engineering chemistry process design and development 2019 v.58 no.25 pp. 10963-10974
dynamic models, heat transfer, mechanistic models, oxidation, process design, smelters, sulfur, sulfur dioxide, sulfuric acid, temperature
The catalytic sulfur dioxide converters, in which sulfur dioxide is oxidized to sulfur trioxide, are the key units in sulfuric acid plants to reduce the sulfur dioxide emission from industrial smelters into the atmosphere. In this paper, a two-phase mechanistic model for the transport and oxidation processes in such converters is developed. Important variables and mechanisms, such as mass conservation, chemical reactions, and heat transfer, are carefully considered. Using empirical relations or industrial values for the parameters, several simulations have been conducted, including the steady-state operation and dynamic responses to sudden changes in feed sulfur dioxide concentration. Such information is valuable for understanding the complex processes and dynamic behaviors in sulfur dioxide converters and other similar reactors. A direct comparison between the simulated and measured outlet temperatures has been performed for an 800 min period based on the collected industrial data from a sulfur dioxide converter. The satisfactory agreement suggests that, in addition to the ability to reveal detailed dynamic information in the sulfur dioxide oxidation process, the developed two-phase model could be useful for practical applications such as the design, operation, and maintenance of sulfur dioxide converters and other catalytic porous reactors.