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Sulphuric Acid on the WebTM Technical Manual DKL Engineering, Inc.

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Acid Plant Database  February 12, 2018


Owner Veolia


Located within Western Refining’s Refinery
6500 Trowbridge Drive
El Paso, Texas
USA  79905

Background Formerly The Chemours Company
Formerly E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co. Inc.
Dupont-Logo.gif (1153 bytes)
Website www.chemours.com
Plant Borderland Facility
Train 1 Train 2
Coordinates 31° 45' 56" N, 106° 23' 45" W 31° 45' 55" N, 106° 23' 43" W
Type of Plant Acid Regeneration Acid Regeneration
Gas Source Alkylation Spent Acid
Hydrogen Sulphide Gas (H2S)
Alkylation Spent Acid
Hydrogen Sulphide Gas (H2S)
Plant Capacity - -
SA/DA 3/1 DA 3/1 DA
Emissions SOx: 1 lb/ton (3h average) SOx: 1 lb/ton (3h average)
Status - -
Year Built 2008 - February 2008 - April
Technology MECS MECS
Contractor - -
Remarks Regen furnace equipped with Blasch HexWall
Furnace Diameter: 12 ft
Wall: Underflow, 9" thick, 17' from burner
Regen furnace equipped with Blasch HexWall
Furnace Diameter: 12 ft
Wall: Underflow, 9" thick, 17' from burner
Plant built in 18 months
Blasch VectorWall installed in 2012 which improved mixing and reduced NOx levels.
Pictures     Du Pont - El Paso 2.jpg (22261 bytes) 
General In June 2005, Western Refining entered into an agreement with DuPont where Western Refining has a long-term commitment to purchase services.  \in exchange for this commitment, DuPont agreed to design, construct and operate two sulphuric acid plants on property leased from Western Refining at the El Paso refinery.  The annual commitment for these services will range from $14 to $16 million per year over the next 20 years.
References -
News July 1, 2015 - Today DuPont announced it has completed the separation of its Performance Chemicals segment through the spin-off of The Chemours Company (Chemours). Chemours begins "regular way" trading today on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol "CC".  Today DuPont common stockholders receive one share of common stock of Chemours for every five shares of DuPont common stock they held at5:00 p.m. ET on June 23, 2015DuPont common stockholders will receive cash in lieu of fractional shares of Chemours "Today's successful spin-off advances DuPont's transformation to a higher growth, higher value, global science and innovation company," said DuPont Chair and Chief Executive Officer Ellen Kullman. "We are now fully focused on markets where our science gives the company a distinct competitive advantage, enabling DuPont to drive higher, more stable growth.  "The next generation DuPont is leaner and more efficient, better able to capitalize on key capabilities that help solve major global challenges and enable our customers to provide plentiful, healthier food; renewably sourced advanced materials; ample energy; better infrastructure and transportation," said Kullman. "As we move forward, we are committed to continuing to execute our strategy to deliver value for shareholders today, while positioning DuPont for a successful future."

March 2, 2008 -
Sulfuric acid and green technology may seem like contradictions in terms.  But DuPont, the multibillion-dollar chemicals company, has merged the two as part of its effort to expand its business in environmental, or green, technologies.  Part of that expansion is now operating at Western Refining's East-Central El Paso oil refinery.  It's a multimillion-dollar sulfuric acid recycling plant owned and operated by DuPont under a 25-year agreement with Western. It's the only such plant operating on an oil refinery in the Southwest, DuPont officials said.
Half of the plant began operating last month on a five-acre site inside the refinery along Trowbridge Drive.  The full plant is expected to be completed in late April. The plant will allow Western to stop sending and receiving a total of 1,300 rail cars of sulfuric acid annually, will allow Western to increase use of less-expensive sour crude oil, and will remove 74 percent of the refinery's sulfur emissions from the air, DuPont and Western officials said.
"Anything to help clean up the air, I'm for it," said Luci Hernandez, who lives about two blocks from the refinery. She also is a member of the refinery's citizens' advisory panel.
"It's too early to tell if it's making a difference," Hernandez said. "Sometimes I smell sulfur in the air. Not real often."

David Everett, manager of DuPont's Borderland Plant at the refinery, said, "This is good for DuPont, Western and the city of El Paso because we all breathe the air out here." The plant also removes the need for loading and unloading rail cars with sulfuric acid, which presented potential hazards, he said.
Hector Rivero, CEO and president of the Texas Chemical Council, a trade group in Austin, said the public's growing concern about the environment was translating into environmental innovations in the marketplace, such as the DuPont plant at Western.
"DuPont and others have been working to reduce waste streams, and they have found new markets for waste streams," Rivero said. "I hope this (DuPont plant) will be a model not only for other refineries, but other chemical companies."
Western Refining can't operate its El Paso refinery without sulfuric acid -- a key ingredient for producing cleaner-burning gasoline -- said Ken Jinkerson, manager of the refinery.
Western has been buying sulfuric acid from a 40-year-old DuPont recycling plant in Burnside, La., about 1,100 miles from El Paso. Western also has been sending its used sulfuric acid there for recycling.
Trains are often delayed, and when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005, Western couldn't get sulfuric acid shipments for about a month. That resulted in reducing fuel production at the refinery 10 to 20 percent, Jinkerson said.
The refinery's old acid is piped to the DuPont plant. It goes into a combustion furnace, where it's decomposed through burning, it then goes to a 50-foot-high converter, where it's regenerated into fresh acid, Everett said. Sulfur emissions from the refinery are also captured and recycled in the plant.
"Usually you don't heat acids, but to decompose it, you need to get it to high temperatures," Everett said. "We have the technology to do that. If you don't know what you're doing, bad things can happen. We believe we manage those hazards."
Twenty-three of the 25 workers at the plant were hired in El Paso and went through a year's training.
Sonny Garcia, 44, lost his job at an El Paso manufacturing plant in 2005 and found the DuPont job interesting, and the $28-an-hour wage attractive, he said. Garcia is one of several technicians who operate and monitor the plant in a control room filled with computer screens. "I'm not scared" being at the plant, Garcia said. Safety is a priority, he and other workers said.
Tim Estus, 41, got a job at the plant after he retired from the Army. He was attracted to the job because he was impressed with DuPont's technology in the Army. Estus said a DuPont Kevlar helmet saved him from a bullet to the head in Iraq.
Besides the plant's environmental advantages, it will let Western process more heavy sour crude oil, which contains more sulfur and sells for less than light, sweet crude oil. Sour crude typically sells for about $5 a barrel less than sweet crude, Jinkerson said.
The El Paso refinery processed only 12,521 barrels of sour crude a day in 2007, compared with 107,176 barrels of sweet crude, a Western financial report shows. Western expects to process 25,000 barrels of sour crude a day when the DuPont plant is fully functional. That number is expected to rise to 50,000 barrels a day when Western completes a low-sulfur gasoline project in 2009.
The DuPont plant eventually will produce more sulfuric acid than needed at Western. That excess acid will be sold to other customers, and will be sent out by truck or train, Everett said.
Putting sulfuric acid recycling plants at oil refineries is a business DuPont started several years ago. The Western plant is the second to open. DuPont's first one opened in 2005 at a Valero refinery in Delaware City, Del. It will soon open a third one at a ConocoPhillips refinery in Linden, N.J.
"We don't know of any other companies doing this type of partnership (with oil refineries), and the technology we're using is only accessible to DuPont," said Nate Pepper, a spokesman at DuPont's regional headquarters in Houston.
The sulfuric acid recycling plants are part of much wider initiative by DuPont to increase its sales in environmental technologies by at least $2 billion a year within the next seven years.

MTPD - Metric Tonne per Day           STPD - Short Ton per Day
MTPA - Metric Tonne per Annum      STPA - Short Ton per Annum
SA - Single Absorption
DA - Double Absorption

* Coordinates can be used to locate plant on Google Earth