Examination of the effect of toluene and carbon dioxide accompanying acid gases (mainly H2S) in the sulfur recovery process is very critical to determine the optimum operating temperature for enhanced sulfur recovery. Experimental and simulation were used to quantify the conversion efficiency with the addition of different amounts of toluene and carbon dioxide/toluene mixtures to the H2S gas stream. The results showed similar trends between predictions and experimental data, which revealed a decrease in conversion efficiency with increase in toluene or carbon dioxide/toluene addition to the H2S gas stream in a reactor. Further simulations were carried out to seek for the effect of toluene and CO2 addition to acid gas stream on the more favorable operating temperature of the reactor. The results showed that toluene increases the optimum reactor temperature at which enhanced sulfur recovery occurs, whereas it reduces the optimum operating temperature in the presence of CO2. The presence of toluene and CO2 in the acid gas stream affects the sulfur recovery efficiency by altering the optimum temperature of the reactor. These results reveal the importance of reactor temperature and its excursion on sulfur recovery in a Claus process. The effect of mean reactor temperature and its role on detailed chemical speciation from within the reactor as well as the role of key species formed in the process on sulfur recovery are presented.

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