Sulphuric Acid

Sulfuric acid is a strong mineral liquid and colorless acid which is miscible with water. This acid gains high boiling temperature and is extremely corrosive. The main industrial application of sulfuric acid is majorly in chemical fertilizer facilitation. Other applications of sulfuric acid include chemical industries, like detergents, resins, medicines, petroleum catalysts, insecticides, antifreezes, aluminum production, papermaking, water purification, dyes and ink production.

Sulfuric acid can be achieved by reaction of sulfur on hydrogen peroxide in laboratory, and two different methods industrially; Wet Sulfuric Acid (WSA) and Double Contact Double Absorption (DCDA) processes. In contact process, sulfur converts to sulfur dioxide and then consequently sulfur trioxide in the presence of oxygen. Sulfuric acid is obtained by the reaction of water with sulfur trioxide.

Sulfur dioxide is also inclusively produced as a by-product of copper and many other metals production. The produced sulfur dioxide transformed to sulfuric acid, hence smelter plants of these metals face to production of huge amount of sulfuric acid.

According to international institute of CRU Group, global demands of sulfuric acid in 2014 and 2015 have been 253 and 261 million tons, respectively. Almost 50% of sulfuric acid consumption is to phosphoric acid production. It has been predicted that global demands for sulfuric acid reach to 294 million tons by 2020.

About 60% of this acid is obtained from the elemental sulfur, 30% from copper smelters and the rest from pyrite and other mineral resources.

The Iranian sulfuric acid producers are Razi Petrochemical Co. with capacity of 600 thousand tons, defense industries with capacity of 50 thousand tons and private units with total capacity of 800 thousand tons per annum. Copper smelters are other important sulfuric acid producers, which their capacity equals to 100 thousand tons.

Copper industry in respect to its committed development goals, plans to increase production of copper to more than 400 thousand tons. The extreme contribution of the copper production is attributed to the smelters, where produce sulfuric acid as one the key by-products. It has been forecasted that nominal capacity of sulfuric acid production of Iran will be extended to additional 1.68 million tons. Regarding to the opportunity studies, the domestic market demand is superior to the domestic supply. In addition, international trading of sulfuric acid is severely limited due to its corrosiveness and transportation difficulties that extend significantly transporting costs.



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