Invent and implement a grassroots process for dimethyl sulfide production
A refinery client in the Southeast had two existing Claus sulfur recovery trains. The refinery produces H2S with very little hydrocarbons and needed to increase their sulfur processing capacity. Initially they planned on adding a third train, identical to the other two existing trains, until an opportunity to do something different presented itself.
The refinery was approached by a third party to partner in developing a new process that would be able to take advantage of the pure H2S stream the refinery had available and make dimethylsulfide (DMS). They turned to C&I to help make this idea a reality.
Working with the third party, C&I began conducting laboratory research to identify a suitable catalyst. The process C&I developed involved reacting H2S and methanol in liquid salt cooled reactors that were designed and built to meet our exact specifications.
A series of fractionation columns would allow for unreacted methanol, water, and other by-products to be recycled and the pure DMS recovered.
C&I also began developing the complex product recovery section design – which had to separate five very non-ideal behaving components. Wiltec Research Company was engaged to develop binary-pair T-P-X data, which our team regressed using AspenTech’s ComThermo software to develop the activity coefficient data needed to model the fractionation section correctly.
After research was concluded, C&I completed detailed design, specifying equipment, providing construction support and operator training, and assisting with unit checkout and startup. Once the unit was operational, the final product was tested as even purer than the sample the team had purchased to calibrate the equipment.