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CHE231 Introduction to Chemical Engineering Plant Design

Najwa Syafiqah binti Abd Rahim 2015868972

Nur Qistina binti Mohamad Kamarul Azman 2015878882

Nur Afiqah binti Jafprinin 2015477386

Aina Marini binti Mohd Aref 2015870918

Sulphuric acid
• Corrosive strong mineral acid with the molecular formula H2SO4
• Diprotic acid
• Can be produced by contact process and lead chamber process
• At a high concentration can cause very serious damage upon contact
• Can lead to permanent blindness if splashed onto eyes and irreversible
damage if swallowed

Process Selection
Contact Process:
Raw Material:
- Sulphur (from natural gas & oil)
- Air
- Water
Stage 1: Purification of Sulphur Dioxide
1. Air (oxygen) - pure oxygen is blown into the plant through air
2. Drying tower - absorb water vapour remaining in the gas.
3. Sulphur in solid pass through melter and sprayed in the furnace
and burned with drying air.
4. Burn sulphur in air
5. Purification of sulphur dioxide - the gas is purified and cooled.
6. Oxidation of sulphur dioxide - oxidation produce large amount of
heat is used to boil water to produce steam to generate electricity
Stage 2: Catalytic Conversion
• Sulphur dioxide with excess oxygen are pass through a converter. Sulphur
dioxide is converted to sulphur trioxide with the presence of vanadium oxide as a
catalyst, a temperature of 400-450℃ and a pressure of 1-2atm

• First converter: 63% of SO2 to SO3

• Second Converter: 88% of SO2 to SO3
• Third converter: 95% of SO2 to SO3
• Sulphur trioxide produce from the converter is fed to economizer to heat the
boiler feed water.
– exothermic reaction
– catalyst: - to speed up the reaction
- platinum is expensive so vanadium oxide preferred
Stage 3 : Absorption
• in oleum tower SO3 is absorbed by the oleum circulation and unabsorbed
SO3 is absorbed in the absorber.
• Water is added to thw acid tank to produce H2SO4 by reacting with oleum.
• Oleum is diluted with water to produce concentrated sulphuric acid in large
• Sulphur trioxide is not dissolve directly in water to produce H2SO4
- Solubility of sulphur trioxide in water is low
- Sulphur trioxide reacts violently with water to produce a lot heat
and fumes (acid vapor)
Lead Chamber Process
Stage 1
• Sulphur burned with air producing sulphur dioxide gas
• Excess air burning made oxygen and nitrogen present along with sulphur
• Filter solid particles are filtered leaving out clean the gas mixture
• Gas mixture passed through combustion chambers to Glover Tower through
nitre pots where NO2 and NO are mixed
• Burned gases, SO2,O2,N2,NO2 AND NO at temperature 450-650℃ passed to
bottom Glover Tower
• In counter current to these gases, dilute sulphuric acid scrub down the Glover
• Gases are cooled to 70-80℃
Stage 2

• Acid scrub collected the bottom of Glover Tower is passed to

air cooler to bring temp from 130-150℃ to 40℃.
• Maintained temperature at feed of lead chamber.
• Wall and roof of chamber is filled with lead sheets.
• Through spray nozzles, low pressure steam and filtered water
are introduced at top of chamber.
• Acid formed condenses on the wall..
• Collected as chamber acid (diluted sulphuric acid)
Stage 3

• Unabsorbed gases from lead chamber enter Gay Lussac's

Tower, diluted concentration HNO3 used to react the upcoming
gases of nitroxyl sulphuric acid
• Reaction in the Gay Lussac's Tower:
HNO3 + NOHSO4 -> 2NO2 + H2SO4
• Nitroxyl sulphuric acid (oxides of nitrogen) absorbed by glover
Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages Disadvantages

Contact Process Produces a much larger amount of Highly exothermic reaction

sulphuric acidProduces acid with Sulphur dioxide can be released
high concentration in air to form acid rain

Lead Chamber Process The original acid to be used can This process is not widely
be obtained at any concentration useLow concentration of
sulphuric acidA lot of energy
required for very small yield


Antifreeze Detergent
Uses Of

Insectides Pigment

Petroleum Pharmac
catalysts eutical

Sulphuric acid is also used as catalyst and dehydrating agent

in petrochemical process and organic chemical manufacturing.
The global sulphuric acid market is segmented on the basis of
manufacturing process, application, and region. Thus, producing
sulphuric acid is way much more better by using the contact
process as it conserve energy when the mixture is heated by
exhaust gases from the catalytic converter by heat exchangers.
This process produce large number of sulphuric acid than other
processes and this could fulfill the high demand of sulphuric acid
the industry.