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Acid Plant Database  December 18, 2016

Owner Veolia

Location HC-66 400 Harris Road
Wurtland, Kentucky
Background Formerly The Chemours Company www.chemours.com
Formerly E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co. Inc.
www.dupont.com Dupont-Logo.gif (1153 bytes)
Website www.veolianorthamerica.com
Plant Wurtland Plant
Coordinates 38° 33' 20" N, 82° 47' 21" W
Type of Plant Sulphur Burning
Gas Source Elemental Sulphur
Plant Capacity 260,000 STPA
SA/DA SA with H2O2 tail gas scrubber
Emissions SO2: 27.6 lb/ton
Acid Mist: 0.5 lb/ton
Opacity: < 20%

SO2: 248 ton (12 month rolling average)
         1.7 lb/ton (3 h rolling average)
The above emission limits are the subject of a Consent Decree which must be met by March 1, 2011

Permits Commonwealth of Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection Division of Air Quality
Facility ID: 21-089-00001
Title V Air Quality Permit
Permit No. Issue Date Expiry Date Date Modified



- -


July 31, 2006

- -
V-06-026 Revision 1 May 5, 2007 - -
Status Operating
Year Built 1961
Technology -
Contractor -
Remarks Site also produces 4.417 ton/h of chlorosulfonic acid (CSA)
Oleum (65%) also produced on site 
2011 - December - Hydrogen peroxide tail gas scrubber installed
Pictures Du Pont - Wurtland 1.jpg (93276 bytes) 
General -

Brown, G.W. , McDonald, C.E.  and Martin, M.W. , "DuPont Wurtland High Performance Drying Tower Goes On-Line", Sulfuric Acid Today, Spring/Summer 2002, p. 20-21.

News June 14, 2016 - Veolia North America has signed an agreement to take over Chemours’ Sulfur Products division. This division is a specialist in the recovery of sulfuric acid and gases of the refining process, which are regenerated in clean acid and steam used in wide range of industrial activities. As a tuck-in to Veolia North America’s Industrial Business, Chemours Sulfur Products division is an excellent complement to Veolia’s existing business, and will reinforce its existing recovery and regeneration capabilities and technologies.  Sulfuric acid is one of the most important compounds made by the chemical industry and is used to manufacture hundreds of compounds needed by almost every industry. Natural gas and oil contain sulfur compounds, both organic and hydrogen sulfide, both of which must be removed before they are used as fuels or chemical feedstock.  Through the takeover of Chemour’s Sulfur Products assets for $325 million, Veolia complements its asset base in the regeneration business, and thus the circular economy. This operation includes the following facilities providing regeneration services and sulfur products: 

- Three Sulfuric Acid Recovery units located on refinery sites in Delaware, New Jersey and Texas.

- A merchant Sulfuric Acid Recovery and sulfur product facility in Burnside, Louisiana.

- Four sulfur-based acid production facilities located in the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast.

Veolia will also be able to rely on the inherent technical expertise relating to sulfur through Chemours’ Acid Technology Center, which boasts 18 engineers who exclusively support the Sulfur Products division.  This take-over provides Veolia with a highly differentiated services offering to allow it to move up the value chain with existing refinery customers, along with an opportunity to cross-sell its existing offerings to a new customer base. It also presents growth opportunities within the refinery services sector, and it positions Veolia to capture future demand for clean gasoline related products.  The Sulfur Products assets, with approximately $262 million in revenue in 2015, employs 250 employees at 7 sites across North America. Parties anticipate closing the transaction within the second half of 2016, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.


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."


November 14, 2012 - DuPont says a leak of sulphuric acid at iits Wurtland plant was quickly contained Tuesday afternoon.  Aaron Woods, a spokesperson for DuPont, tells WSAZ.com the leak was reported at 2:35 p.m. Woods says about 10 pounds of the chemical leaked out and was contained in about 10 minutes.  He says the plant's emergency response team monitored air quality inside the plant and along the fence line immediately following the leak. He says a small of amount of the chemical escaped the plant grounds, but quickly dissipated.  Woods also tells WSAZ.com that all required regularity agencies were notified including the company's fence line neighbors, including the Pregis plant. He did not know if Greenup 911 was notified.  An employee at the Pregis plant said they had to shelter-in-place and put towels at the bottom of doors in their office because the gas was coming inside.  Woods says the company will be reviewing its notification system for the Wurtland plant.

It's been frustrating few days for Julia Shafer. There was a time on Tuesday she thought the woods behind her home were on fire.  "There was what appeared to be a smoke cloud over the house right here," Shafer said. "We thought the woods were on fire. We didn't know what was going on."  It turns out the DuPont Plant, less than a quarter mile away, and an accidental release of sulfuric acid.  "This event should have never happened," plant manager Curtis Tritapoe said. "We activated our emergency response system as soon as we were notified."  Tritapoe says the calls went out to their corporate neighbors to shelter in place after the release of 10 pounds of sulfuric acid. Regulatory agencies and the local office of emergency management were also notified of the release.  "When it happened, we knew nothing about it," said Sherry Chapman, deputy director with Greenup County 911.  The local 911 office was not notified directly by DuPont, and Chapman is hoping that changes in the future.  "If someone sees something like that, the public's going to call in," Chapman said. "The first place they call is 911. So, I believe no matter how much is released, small or big, we should be the first to be notified."  DuPont's plant manager tells WSAZ it's going through its emergency response procedures and critique them to make sure it's notifying the right people in a timely fashion.


July 14, 2009 - A jury has found chemical giant DuPont guilty of gross negligence in a 2004 leak at its Wurtland plant that released clouds of sulfuric acid over large portions of Greenup County.  Because of that negligence, those suing DuPont for health problems they suffered as a result of the release are entitled to 10 times the monetary damages they would have otherwise collected, the jury ruled.  The 10-member jury found in favor of the plaintiffs on Monday after deliberating for about three hours and 40 minutes. The verdict concluded a civil trial that began June 26 in U.S. District Court in Ashland.  
The lawsuit - actually a consolidation of several actions filed against DuPont following the Oct. 11, 2004, chemical release - is being tried in four phases.
While acknowledging a chemical release did take place at the Wurtland facility on the date in question, DuPont continues to maintain that release was not the cause of the problems alleged by the plaintiffs, Campbell said.  "We really don't believe our actions in the case warranted these awards," she said. We think our employees acted swiftly to stop the release and to inform the community."  A number of those suing DuPont are police officers, firefighters and other emergency personnel who responded to the scene when the leak occurred.  The leak, caused by a cracked pipe at the Wurtland facility, resulted in the release of sulfur trioxide, a chemical that formed billowing white clouds composed of droplets of sulfuric acid, which covered much of Wurtland, Worthington and Greenup.
Plaintiffs' attorneys argued failure on DuPont's part to address issues raised by a 1995 chemical release at the Wurtland plant was largely responsible for the same type of incident occurring again nine years later.  Following the 1995 incident, a safety team recommended DuPont institute a number of changes at the facility to ensure a spill of that nature never occurred again, according to testimony in the case.  "Not only did DuPont ignore those recommendations in 1995, it continued to ignore them following the 2004 spill as well," plantiffs' lawyers said in bench memorandum filed in the case. "In other words, DuPont had known for nine years it needed to improve its Wurtland facility's safety practices, but simply chose not to."  Also, testimony in the case revealed three months before the spill, a DuPont investigation revealed the tube bundle that ultimately failed was "dangerously corroded" and in need of replacement, but the company declined to do so, the memorandum states.

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