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

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Sulphuric Acid Plant Specifications

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Acid Plant Database  August 1, 2019


Owner PQ Corporation - Eco Services


1275 Airline Highway
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
USA  70805

Background The facility has been in operation since 1926 
Formerly Rhodia Inc.
2011 - Acquired by Solvay SA
2014 - Acquired by CCMP Capitol Advisors LLC
2016 - Merged with PQ Corporation
Website www.rhodia.com   
Plant Unit No. 1 Unit No. 2
Coordinates* 30° 30' 34" N, 91° 11' 14" W 30° 30' 36" N, 91° 11' 5" W
Type of Plant Acid Regeneration Acid Regeneration
Sulphur Burning
Gas Source Alkylation Spent Acid Alkylation Spent Acid
Elemental Sulphur
Plant Capacity 700 MTPD
900 MTPD (increase allowed by consent decress) 
1500 MTPD
1900 MTPD (increase allowed by consent decress) 
SA/DA - -

SO2: 1.9 lb/ton (Long-Term Limit as per Consent Decree)
        3.0 lb/ton (Short-Term Limit as per Consent Decree)
Acid Mist: 0.15 lb/ton
Scrubber designed to remove 95% of SO2

SO2: 2.2 lb/ton (Long-Term Limit as per Consent Decree)
        3.0 lb/ton (Short-Term Limit as per Consent Decree)
Acid Mist: 0.15 lb/ton
Scrubber designed to remove 95% of SO2

Status - -
Year Built  1953 1968 
Technology Scrubber: Acid Engineering and Consulting   Scrubber: Acid Engineering and Consulting 
Contractor - -
Remarks -

Dec 2007: New absorber tower installed

Permits Consent Decree
Effective Date: May 1, 2012
Consent Decree
Effective Date: January 1, 2011
Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
Facility ID: LAD 008161234
Title V Permit
Permit No. Issue Date Expiry Date Date Modified
0840-00033-V1 March 14, 2007 - -
- - - -
General Site also treats hazardous wastes
References Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality permit 0840-00033-V1
News May 4, 2016 - PQ Corporation, a leading global manufacturer of specialty inorganic performance chemicals, high-end catalysts, and engineered glass beads, and Eco Services Operations LLC (“Eco Services”), the North American leader in sulfuric acid recycling services, announced today the closing of a previously announced merger that bolsters PQ’s position as a world-class specialty inorganic chemical company.  Concurrently with the closing of the merger between PQ and Eco Services, PQ has also refinanced its existing credit facilities by entering into a USD$1.2 billion senior secured term loan (consisting of a USD$900 million senior secured term loan and a USD$300 million Euro equivalent senior secured term loan), USD$625 million in new senior secured notes, USD$525 million in senior unsecured notes, and a USD$200 million asset-based secured revolving credit facility. The existing $200 million of Eco Services notes will remain outstanding.  “Combining PQ and Eco Services and refinancing our credit facilities positions the new PQ to grow and prosper well into the future,” said George J. Biltz, President and Chief Executive Officer of the combined company. “Moving forward, our customers will continue to see superior product offerings and top-notch service from our dedicated team.”  Biltz also noted that the combination joins two specialty inorganic chemical companies that have similar business models and complementary customers. Both companies provide mission-critical products and services to the refinery industry, with PQ supplying catalysts necessary for the refining of crude oil and Eco Services providing sulfuric acid regeneration services needed in the alkylation process. Biltz anticipates a smooth integration process that is expected to yield significant back-office savings and other synergies that will serve PQ’s growth initiatives.

July 31, 2014 -
Solvay SA (SOLB) agreed to sell its sulphuric acid operation serving the mining industry to private equity firm CCMP Capitol Advisors LLC in a deal valued at $890 million.  The buyout firm is paying “just over” eight times adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the last 12 months through June, Solvay said in a statement today.  Chief Executive Officer Jean-Pierre Clamadieu is delivering a deal ahead of a year-end deadline to announce a buyer for the business, as he looks to enhance the Belgian company’s focus and profitability. Separately, Solvay reiterated today it expects high single-digit percentage earnings growth this year.  “Eco Services has a market leading position and generates stable cash flows, but its business profile differs from Solvay’s strategic ambitions,” said Clamadieu.  Sales in the second-quarter rose 2 percent to 2.64 billion euros, driven by higher volumes. Recurring earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 10 percent to 485 million euros, buoyed by an acquisition to expand in oil-field chemicals that performed better than expectations, and advanced materials. (Bloomberg)

April 4, 2011 - Belgian chemicals and plastics company Solvay SA said Monday that it will buy Rhodia SA in a friendly deal that values the French specialty-chemicals maker at €3.4 billion ($4.84 billion) and will expand Solvay's footprint in fast-growing emerging markets.  Solvay, which in 2009 sold its pharmaceuticals business to Abbott Laboratories for €4.5 billion, is offering €31.60 a share in cash, representing a premium of 50% to Rhodia's Friday closing price of €21.07. The deal has been recommended by the French company's directors.  The new company will have combined annual revenue of €12 billion and will derive 40% of its sales from emerging markets, helped by Rhodia's strong presence in Brazil and China.  Solvay Chief Executive Christian Jourquin said during a news conference that the combined company will have sufficient resources to target larger acquisitions in emerging countries. Rhodia Chief Executive Jean-Pierre Clamadieu pointed to opportunities for expansion in India, in addition to Brazil and China, as well as in the renewable raw-materials sector.  Mr. Clamadieu will become deputy chief executive of Solvay and is expected to take the helm of the company once Mr. Jourquin retires.  Rhodia shares in Paris closed up 48% at €31.21, slightly lower than the offer price, while Solvay closed 2.3% higher at €85.79 in Brussels.  While Rhodia hadn't been considered a likely takeover target for Solvay, it offers the expansion into new markets that the Belgian company had been seeking, analysts said. They said Rhodia will boost Solvay's geographical exposure, particularly in Asia, one of the most promising markets for the companies' businesses. It will also reduce the energy footprint and increase the company's research and development of new products.  But the new Solvay-Rhodia combination won't reduce Solvay's exposure to external economic shocks and the company's performance will continue to shift with macroeconomic trends. "Rhodia was not our best guess," Bernard Hanssens, an analyst at Bank Degroof in Brussels, wrote in a note about the deal. "The reduction of the cyclicality of the earnings seems less obvious," he wrote.  Solvay was hard-hit by the economic downturn, as its business is heavily dependent on the construction and the automotive industries, both of which were affected by the slump. However, its pharmaceutical business had reduced the negative impact, propping up the company's numbers.

January 7, 2011
- A sulfur dioxide and sulfur trioxide leak reported at the Rhodia plant on Airline Highway Friday morning has been contained and has not produced any off site impact, a Rhodia spokesman said.   The leak came out of a production unit at the plant but was contained and sealed quickly, spokesman David Klucsik said.  The plant, at 1275 Airline Highway, is a sulfuric acid manufacturing and recycling plant, Klucsik said.  The leaks occurred at 8 a.m. and lasted for three to five minutes, Klucsik said.   There were no injuries and an investigation is underway to figure why the leaks occurred.  The production unit involved was shut down and will remain closed until the investigation is complete, Klucsik said.

November 3, 2009 - One of Baton Rouge's major chemical companies has been hit by a strike that appears to have surprised the company.   Members of teamsters union "Local 5" have high visibility for their walkout since the Rhodia Plant they're striking is right along U.S. 190 as it enters Baton Rouge from the old river bridge.  Rhodia deals with "hot" chemicals, such as sulphuric acid. Rhodia said it's moving non-union management personnel into position to keep the plant running, but the teamsters represent more than half the plant work force.   The teamsters say they've been offered a three percent pay raise over three years, but Rhodia will deduct future increases in health insurance premiums from those raises.  


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