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Title: Aqueous Phase Oxidation Of Sulfur Dioxide In Stirred Slurry Reactors
Authors: Gopala Krishna, K V
Advisors: Rao, Govinda V M H
Submitted Date: 1994
Publisher: Indian Institute of Science
Abstract: Air pollution by sulfur dioxide is of great concern due to its harmful effects on environment, human beings, fauna and flora. Fossil-fuel-fired power plants are one of the major sources of SO2 emissions. Typically the concentration of SO2 in the flue gases of these plants is in the range of 2000 to 20000 ppm. Flue gas desulfurisation is one of the widely practiced strategies to control SO2 emissions. Aqueous phase oxidation of sulfur dioxide catalysed by carbonaceous particles is an attractive alternative to the conventional processes for flue gas desulfurisation because, amongst other reasons, sulfuric acid, the product of aqueous phase oxidation, finds extensive application in industry. In the literature it has been reported that sulfuric acid affects the solubility of sulfur dioxide and that activated carbon catalyses aqueous phase oxidation. However there is hardly any report on the systematic evaluation of the mechanism of the heterogeneous aqueous phase oxidation of sulfur dioxide which takes into account among other factors, the effect of sulfuric acid on the solubility of SO2 (particularly, at low levels of SO2 and sulfuric acid concentrations). Therefore the objective of the present work is to evaluate systematically the aqueous phase oxidation of SO2 in ppm levels with activated carbon as catalyst in a three-phase agitated slurry reactor and to model rigorously the solubility of SO2 in ppm levels in dilute sulfuric acid solutions and to estimate the concerned parameters experimentally. Strong effect of dilute concentrations of sulfuric acid on the solubility of SO2 is analyzed in terms of the influence of the acid on the equilibrium concentrations of the ionic species (HSO3¯ and SO4¯2 formed from the hydrolysis of SO2 (aq) and the dissociation of H2SO4 respectively) in SO2 - dil. H2SO4 systems. The analysis leads to a general expression relating the partial pressure of SO2 in the gas phase to the concentration of total dissolved SO2 and the concentration of sulfuric acid in the solution. Simple equations are obtained from the general expression for the cases of zero and high concentrations of sulfuric acid in the system, which in turn lead to direct experimental determination of the parameters, Henry's law constant and the equilibrium constant of hydrolysis of SO2 (aq). The developed model predicts the present experimental data as well as the data reported in the literature very closely. The dissolution of SO2, the hydrolysis of SO2 (aq) and the dissociation of H2SO4 are found to be instantaneous. From the dependency of the parameters on temperature, the heat of dissolution of SO2 is determined to be -31.47 kJ mol"1 and the heat of hydrolysis to be 15.69 kJ mol"1. The overall heat of solubility of sulfur dioxide is therefore -15.78 kJ mol"1. Preliminary reaction experiments have clearly indicated that SO2 (aq) does not react and HSO3¯ is the only reactant for aqueous phase oxidation of sulfur dioxide catalysed by activated carbon. The non-reactant SO2 (aq) deactivates the oxidation reaction by competing with HSO3¯ for adsorption on the active sites of the catalyst particles. However the catalyst particles become saturated with SO2 (aq) beyond a certain value of its concentration (saturation limit), which depends on temperature. A mechanism is proposed based on these observations to develop a rate model. The rate model also takes into account the effect of the concentration of the product sulfuric acid on the solubility of sulfur dioxide. The model predicts first order in HSO3¯ , half order in dissolved oxygen and a linear deactivation effect of 5O2(ag). The oxidation reaction is evaluated experimentally at various levels of the operating variables such as temperature and the concentrations of sulfur dioxide and oxygen in the inlet gas. In all experiments a pseudo steady-state region is observed where the gas phase concentration of SO2 reaches a steady value but the concentrations of HSO3¯ and total S (VI) in the liquid phase continue to change. Pseudo steady-state considerations lead to the determination of the initial estimates of the parameters of the rate model namely, the rate constant and the deactivation constant. These parameters are estimated from the transient profiles of the product (sulfuric acid) by solving the model equations by Runge-Kutta method along with Marquardt's non-linear parameter estimation algorithm. The predictions of the model with the estimated parameters match very well with the experimentally observed concentration profiles of S(VI) and HSO3 in the liquid phase and SO2 in the gas phase. The deactivation constant in the saturation range is independent of temperature and is 0.27, which indicates that the intrinsic rate constant is about four times greater than the observed rate constant. From Arrhenius equation-type dependency of the parameters on temperature, the activation energy for the oxidation reaction is determined to be 93.55 kJ mol"1 and for deactivation to be 21.4 kJ mol"1. The low value of activation energy for deactivation suggests a weak dependency of the deactivation on temperature, which perhaps is due to the weak nature of the chemisorption of SO2 (aq) on carbon.
URI: http://etd.iisc.ernet.in/handle/2005/130
Appears in Collections:Chemical Engineering (chemeng)

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