Safeguarding from perils industrial vehicular pollution
Waste Management Expo 2020 MAR 12&13 BIEC, Bengaluru, India

Safeguarding from perils of industrial and vehicular pollution

11:44 AM, 14th August 2017
Safeguarding from perils of industrial and vehicular pollution
Based on the catalytic oxidation technology, EnviCat VOC effectively removes harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon monoxide in the air. © Clariant.

By Aravind Narayanam and M Shanmuga Sundaram

The growing urbanization has made air pollution one of the larger killers and India cannot remain complacent. The dynamic Indian economy continues to battle the rising level of pollution with air pollution being one of the greatest hindrances for development. The rising GDP and rapid industrial growth and increased emissions from industries along with vehicles is the main cause of pollution in the form of volatile organic hydrocarbons (VOC’s), lead/benzene, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide amongst other intoxicants.

India has witnessed an increase in concerns over environmental degradation in the last two years. According to a study published by Earth System Science Data in 2015, India saw a growth of 5.2 per cent in emissions.  As one of the key contributors to the ever-growing environmental issue, the government of India is taking various initiatives to curb the impact of pollution on the environment. Last year in October, India actively signed the Paris Climate Change Agreement and ensured reduction of carbon footprint and protect the earth from adverse impact of climate change. 

Vehicular pollution also introduces harmful gases in the environment which has a destructive effect on the ecosystem. To lower the impact of vehicular pollution, the government introduced a ‘green tax’ of 2.5 per cent on small cars and 4 percent on bigger cars and SUVs in the Union Budget 2016. Furthermore, all petrol and diesel vehicles that were more than 15 and 10 years old respectively were banned by NGT from plying on the roads in Delhi and NCR. In January 2016, the government announced that India will be skipping Bharat Stage V norms and enforcing Bharat Stage VI norms starting 2020, thereby addressing the key issue of vehicular pollution. The authorities have also clarified that no new BS-III registration of vehicles will be allowed post April 1 2017. This leap has obligated oil refining companies to invest in state-of-the-art hydro-treating units to reduce the product sulfur from the current level of 50 ppm to 10 ppm.

In concurrence with the Government’s vision and initiatives to reduce carbon emission in the country, Sud-Chemie develops and manufactures catalysts which aids in cutting down on the toxic emissions from industrial & auto manufacturers. The company supports the chemical fraternity with innovative solutions which has helped transform human life in several ways. Sud-Chemie India markets industrial catalysts for various chemical, petrochemical, refinery, automotive, specialty, fine and pharma applications.  It produces catalysts in India for the Indian chemical industries and also exports these catalysts to several part of the world through its group company Clariant. Through its innovative solutions and continuous research & development, Sud-Chemie has helped Indian industries to combat air pollution, thus assisting in their endeavour to make the world a better place to live in. In addition to development of several new catalysts at in-house R&D, Sud-Chemie in collaboration with National Chemical Laboratory, Pune has developed solid oxide catalyst for biodiesel technology that is now globally licensed by Benefuel Inc USA. Also, supported Indian Oil R&D in manufacturing a unique catalyst for INDAdept technology.  

Hereunder is a short overview technologies developed by Sud-Chemie that help produce low sulphur fuels and process other waste oil into a variety of environmentally benign products.

INDAdept: Gasoline & Diesel Sulfur removal technology:

To meet the BS VI specifications, Sud-Chemie in partnership with Indian Oil R&D has manufactured a proprietary adsorbent for reducing refractory sulfur from diesel called ‘INDAdeptD’ and total sulfur from cracked gasoline called ‘INDAdeptG’ for production of low sulfur fuels.

How does it work?

Through this, hydrogen consumption is significantly low since it is consumed only for saturation of olefinic bond generated by cleavage of the sulfur from the sulfur compounds. A typical unit two fixed bed reactors are operated in swing mode of adsorption & regeneration. After reaching the breakthrough point, the adsorbent is regenerated with lean air by oxidation of adsorbed sulfur & coke followed by activation with hydrogen.

INDAdeptD is particularly suitable as a finishing step after DHDS/DHDT for deep desulfurization of refractory sulfur from the diesel. During adsorption, hydro desulfurized diesel containing refractory sulfur of 350 to 500 ppm along with hydrogen is contacted with the proprietary adsorbent in a fixed bed reactor at 300 to 4000C & 15 to 30 bar. The existing DHDT unit can be operated at lower severity, just sufficient to meet the Cetane requirement, and further sulfur reduction can be achieved by employing INDAdeptD process. This helps in substantial saving (20-40 %) of precious hydrogen.

INDAdeptG process for gasoline desulphurization is similar to INDAdeptD but there are a few changes in operating range of parameters such as pressure, temperature, H2/HC ratio etc. The process is capable of processing full range cracked naphtha in single step. This process consumes lower hydrogen (0.15 to 0.25 wt percent of feed) with minimal octane loss of 1 to 2 units.

ENSEL Biodiesel technology & catalyst:

ENSEL technology can process waste oils and lower-grade fats/oils into a variety of high margin products, including fuel, oleochemicals and biodegradable lubricants - a combined global market estimated at over one hundred billion dollars. Biodiesel produced from ENSEL technology can be blended with regular petroleum Diesel and reduce overall carbon footprint on the environment. In fact, blending of biodiesel or diesel from renewable sources is a mandatory requirement in some countries. ENSEL technology has gone through five years of research and development and has been successfully proven at a demonstration scale. Commercial plant has been recently commissioned

ENSEL process combines esterification of free fatty acids (FFA) and transesterification of triglycerides into a single process step – a long-standing technology goal of the biodiesel and oleochemical industries. Solving these challenges significantly expands feedstock options, simplifies the refining process and enables a cost structure competitive with petroleum products. To achieve a consistent, high quality product, ENSEL process is engineered as a true continuous flow process (instead of a batch process), much like a commercial petroleum or petrochemical refinery. This affords lower CAPEX and OPEX on projects.

SulfoMax EV for reducing SO2 emission in Sulfuric acid plants

Globally, Sulphuric acid is the largest manufactured chemical and is used in several chemical applications till date, the main application being the production of Phosphatic fertilizers that means a lot to the food industry catering to the ever-rising population.

SulfoMax series catalyst, a vanadium pentoxide compound, is used in the manufacturing of sulfuric acid. Continuous research by Sud-Chemie India resulted in a novel catalyst, SulfoMax EV (Environmental Version),that helps sulfuric acid producer reduce their SO2 emission to a greater extent.  This novel catalyst with its ability to operate at quite lower temperature helps user to achieve higher equilibrium conversion and in turn, delivering lower SO2 emission on sustainable basis. 

Lower the emission of SO2 sulphuric acid plants, lower is the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG’s) to atmosphere.

Diverse portfolio for Environmental Catalysts:

Sud-Chemie’s catalysts are also used to clean emissions from industrial processes and combustion engines to limit the impact on the environment. For the treatment of Automobile, Stationery and Industrial Exhaust Gas, Sud Chemie offers the following range of catalytic solutions under the EnviCat® trade mark.

EnviCat® TWC:

Three way catalysts (TWC) are used to simultaneously remove CO, HC and NOx from exhausts of spark ignited engines. The catalysts are designed to oxidize the CO and HC to harmless carbon dioxide and water and reduce the NOx to Nitrogen at the same time.

Sud-Chemie offers a broad range of Catalytic converters for mobile & stationary engines fuelled by Gasoline, LPG & CNG. The use of high thermally durable wash coats and an automated state–of–the–art coating technology ensures long life of the catalyst. The superior thermal stability of the wash coat and use of improved oxygen storage materials permits the catalyst to be mounted closer to the engine for better cold start activity.

EnviCat® DOC:

The diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) is used to oxidize carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, including the Soluble Organic Fraction (SOF) of diesel particulate matter.

Sud-Chemie catalysts are designed to provide the highest activity at low temperatures for CO and HC. For use with Sulphur containing fuels, the catalysts are formulated along with an additive to suppress the oxidation of sulphur dioxide to particulate sulphates. They can be offered on both metallic as well as ceramic substrates.

EnviCat® SCR:

Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) is a robust and cost effective technology for reduction of NOx from diesel exhaust. The NOx reacts with NH3 and is reduced to nitrogen and water even in the presence of oxygen. SCR is widely accepted as the best available control technology. Engine tuned for SCR, NOxcontrol, offers high fuel efficiency.

Sud-Chemie offers a variety of innovative SCR catalysts to reduce NOx Emissions over a wide span of operating temperatures from 200°C to 600°C with proven durability.

Envicat® VOC 

Many industrial processes emit of volatile organic compounds (VOC) including the use and manufacture of solvents, the production of specialty chemicals, and fertilizer manufacture.

Compared to alternative technologies, catalytic oxidation technology offer low temperature operation, high conversion efficiency > 99 percent and less severe material of construction. It also offers lower capital cost and, low operating cost and consumes less fuel.

EnviCat® NOx:

This range of catalysts have been developed for control of pollutants like NOx, and N2O from industrial sources. Below are the different well proven formulations that have been commercialized to cover the application specific requirements of temperature and sulfur resistance.

  • EnviCat® Blue best at low temp but susceptible to sulfur poisoning
  • EnviCat® Yellow best at intermediate temp and resistant to sulfur poisoning
  • EnviCat® Red best at higher temp. but poor low-temperature activity
  • EnviCat® N2O-S as a secondary catalyst in Nitric acid plants for removal of N2O

EnviCat® SCO:

Selective oxidation catalyst for destruction of NH3 comes with a high selective conversion of NH3 to N2 conversion.

Authors: Aravind Narayanam is Chief Manager, Marketing & Technical services and M Shanmuga Sundaram is Manager, Marketing & Technical services at Sud-Chemie India Pvt Ltd.

© Chemical Today Magazine


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