Predesulphurization of Raw Naphtha Process Plant Flow Sheet

Predesulphurization of Naphtha process description:

Hydrogenation and stripping are the primary process to remove bulk sulphur present in naphtha. Sulphur is a harmful component in raw naphtha when used as primary stock in ammonia production. Sulphur is treated as an impurity which has huge impact on the production cost of ammonia. It is a poisoning element for steam naphtha reforming catalyst it should be removed from raw naphtha. The process involved in removal of sulphur impurity is called as Pre-desulphurization since another final desulphurization system is been established in present process ammonia manufacturing plants along with PDS because of the availability of raw naphtha containing sulphur about 1500 ppm which is not desirable to present technology catalyst. This fraction is reduced to 10 to 5 ppm in Pre-desulphurization, and final desulphurization is used to absorb the remaining traces of sulphur.

Unit operation equipments used in this process are:

  • Deaerator
  • Recycle compressor
  • Feed effluent heat exchangers
  • Fired heater
  • Hydrogenator (fixed packed bed reactor)
  • Effluent separator
  • Naphtha stripper 

The raw naphtha is passed through deaerator to remove oxygen content dissolved in the liquid naphtha using natural gas or naphtha vapors, this operation will prevent the risk of gum formation in heat exchange equipments. Stripped off gas from deaerator is used as a fuel and the liquid naphtha from deaerator is pumped through a series of effluent heat exchangers to vaporize and then to the super heated fired heater. Sulphur present in the form of mercaptan, thioehter, and disulphide is made to react with hydrogen and form hydrogen sulphide at Hydrogenator. The reaction is exothermic; heat obtained is used to preheat the inlet feed to fired heater before the reactor to attain the reaction temperature. Hydrogen gas is added at the compressor section to the liquid stream of deaerated naphtha. The mixture at 40 kg/ pressure is passed to effluent heater and vaporized to temperature of 300degC. This temperature is raised to 380 deg C by the fired heater and passed to the top side of fixed packed bed catalytic Hydrogenation reactor. Most of the sulphur is reacted with hydrogen as per equation 
Hydrogenation equation for treating sulphur compounds in naphtha
Where R, is a radical of hydrocarbon.
pre desulphurization of naphtha process flow sheet
Process flowsheet of predesulphurization plant
 The reaction mixture is cooled to separate the naphtha and hydrogenated gas. Liquid naphtha which is cooled is fed to a stripper to strip out dissolved water and hydrogen sulphide. Stripper feed preheater is used to preheat the feed naphtha by the naphtha stream obtained from the bottom of the stripper which is at temperature about 200-250 deg C. Stripper is distillation column having around 20 trays and operates at 10kg/sq cm. Temperatures is maintained around 200 to 130 deg C at bottom and 130 to 90 deg C at top depending on feed stock. Off gases are used as fuel and naphtha obtained at bottom is called sweet naphtha. Sweet naphtha should contain less than 15ppm of total sulphur.