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Acid Plant Database June 3, 2011

Owner PCS Phosphate Company Inc.

Location 1530 NC HWY 306 South
Aurora, North Carolina
USA 27806
Background 1966 - Site opened
Part of Potash Corporation
Website www.potashcorp.com
Plant Plant No. 3 Plant No. 4 Plant No. 5
Coordinates* - - -
Type of Plant Sulphur Burning Sulphur Burning Sulphur Burning
Gas Source Elemental Sulphur Elemental Sulphur Elemental Sulphur
Plant Capacity 1850 STPD 1850 STPD 3600 STPD
Emissions SO2: 4 lb/ton
Acid Mist: 0.15 lb/ton
NOx: 5.8 lb/ton
Opacity: 10%
SO2: 4 lb/ton
Acid Mist: 0.15 lb/ton
NOx: 5.8 lb/ton
Opacity: 10%
SO2: 4 lb/ton
Acid Mist: 0.15 lb/ton
NOx: 5.8 lb/ton
Opacity: 10%
Status Shutdown 2010
37 year life
Shutdown 2010
36 year life
Year Built 1973 1974 -
Technology - - -
Contractor - - -
Remarks Planned increase to 2000 STPD was not done - Plant equipped with a MECS HRS
Plant No. 3 and 4 to be shutdown when Plant No. 7 is started.  Some equipment in the plants will be salvage and sold and then the plants demolished.
Plant Plant No. 6 Plant No. 7 -
Coordinates* - - -
Type of Plant Sulphur Burning Sulphur Burning -
Gas Source Elemental Sulphur Elemental Sulphur
11.5% SO2, 9.46% O2
Plant Capacity 3800 STPD 4500 STPD -
SA/DA 3/1 DA 3/1 DA
99.85% conversion
Emissions SO2: 4 lb/ton
Acid Mist: 0.15 lb/ton
NOx: 5.8 lb/ton
Opacity: 10%
SO2: < 2 lb/ton, < 200 ppm
Acid Mist: 0.075 lb/ton
NOx: 0.6 lb/ton
Opacity: 10%
Status Operating Operating -
Year Built - 2010
Site Mobilization: April 2008
Start-up: January 26, 2010
26 month schedule
Technology - MECS -
Contractor -

The Roberts Company (Winterville, NC) - Fabrication and installation of equipment www.robertscompany.com
Abener LLC (St. Louis, MO) - Engineering and construction support
Trader Construction (New Bern, NC) - Civil and general contracting support
Century Contractors ( Matthews, NC) - Fabricate and install ducting/piping, modular pipe rack

Remarks Plant equipped with a MECS HRS

Upon initial startup of Plant No. 7 combined SO2 emissions for No. 3, 4 and 7 shall be less than 2006 tons per consecutive 12 month period

Blower: Siemens AG (KKK) w/steam turbine and IGV
HRS: with steam injection, 203,000 lb/h 50 psig steam
Control System: Honeywell DCS
Converter: 54 ft diameter
      Bed 1: XLP 220
      Bed 2: XLP 110
      Bed 3: XLP 110
      Bed 4: SCX-2000 Cs


Site Power Generation: 52 MW

Permit North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Air Quality
Facility ID: 0700071
Title V Permit
Permit No. Issue Date Expiry Date Details
04176R23 September 24, 2003 - Permit for Plant No. 4
04176T36 December 17, 2007 - BART determination for Plant No. 3 and 4
04176T37 January 4, 2008 - To construct/operate Plant No. 7
04176T41 November 19, 2008 - -
04176T36 - May 21, 2010 -
Pictures PCS Phosphates - Aurora 1.jpg (194229 bytes)  PCS Phosphates - Aurora 2.jpg (151000 bytes)
No. 7 Plant (Pictures extracted from Reference No. 2)

PCS-Phosphates-Aurora-7a.jpg (198498 bytes)  PCS-Phosphates-Aurora-7b.jpg (120205 bytes)  PCS-Phosphates-Aurora-7c.jpg (105443 bytes)  PCS-Phosphates-Aurora-7d.jpg (138320 bytes)  PCS-Phosphates-Aurora-7e.jpg (310715 bytes) 

PCS-Phosphates-Aurora-7f.jpg (239111 bytes)  PCS-Phosphates-Aurora-7g.jpg (262857 bytes)  PCS-Phosphates-Aurora-7h.jpg (135365 bytes)  PCS-Phosphates-Aurora-7i.jpg (110264 bytes)  PCS-Phosphates-Aurora-7j.jpg (146123 bytes) 

PCS-Phosphates-Aurora-7k.jpg (284466 bytes)  PCS-Phosphates-Aurora-7l.jpg (278225 bytes)  PCS-Phosphates-Aurora-7m.jpg (258066 bytes)

General -
References 1. Sulphuric Acid Today, Spring/Summer 2010, pp. 7-10
2. Baker, T., et. al., "PCS Phoshate's New 4500 STPD Sulfuric Acid Plant in Aurora, NC", AIChE Clearwater Convention, June 12, 2010
News March 15, 2009 - Environmental groups have filed a challenge to a decision by state water quality regulators to allow an expansion of PCS Phosphate's mining operation in Beaufort County, which would involve massive destruction of wetlands near the Pamlico River.  The permit, issued in January by the state Division of Water Quality, allows the company to mine about 11,000 acres adjacent to its current open-pit mine over 35 years.  The effects on 4.8 miles of streams and more than 3,900 acres of wetlands represent the largest destruction of wetlands ever permitted in North Carolina.  PCS Phosphate, part of an international company headquartered in Canada, has worked the mine since 1995 to produce phosphate for fertilizer and animal feed supplements and for use in food additives such as phosphoric acid, a flavor enhancer in Coca-Cola and jellies. It is the largest employer in Beaufort County, with more than 1,000 workers.  "This permit challenge asks whether PCS's mine expansion has to comply with the laws protecting the environment, fisheries and public health," Geoff Gisler, a lawyer with Southern Environmental Law Center said in a statement Thursday. "The long-term economic and environmental health of eastern North Carolina depends on the state holding PCS to those standards."  The challenge was filed on behalf of Environmental Defense Fund, the N.C. Coastal Federation, Pamlico-Tar River Foundation and the N.C. Sierra Club in state administrative court, where agency decisions are initially appealed.  Ross Smith, environmental manager for PCS Phosphate, said the company had not yet reviewed the legal challenge and couldn't comment.

Meanwhile, in a separate permitting decision involving PCS, a state administrative law judge has ruled that state air regulators erred in issuing a permit to the company to overhaul its fertilizer plant without properly notifying federal wildlife officials and that it used the wrong baseline for predicting whether the plant would harm air quality at the Swanquarter National Wildlife Refuge.  Last year, the state Division of Air Quality allowed the company to build a new sulfuric acid plant to replace two existing plants at the site near Aurora. The new plant will produce about 4,500 tons of sulfuric acid a day, 1,000 tons more than the existing facility. The acid is mixed with phosphate ore mined on site to produce phosphoric acid.  The U.S. Department of Interior challenged the permit, saying air emissions from the larger phosphate plant could harm visibility at the wildlife refuge about 20 miles east.  Judge Fred Morrison of the state Office of Administrative Hearings, ruled that the state did not properly notify the Fish & Wildlife Service, part of the Interior Department, of PCS's plans. Morrison also found state environmental regulators used too lenient a baseline for estimating whether the added pollution from the plant would harm air in the Swanquarter refuge.  The judge's decision is advisory. The state Environmental Management Commission, an appointed panel, will make the final decision, which could change the baseline that air regulators use for comparing whether added air emissions would harm air quality and visibility.

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