Bayer to Build A Sulfuric Acid Plant for Europe's Largest Lead Manufacturer

17 Jun 2009 • by Natalie Aster

Bayer Technology Services GmbH (BTS) has been commissioned by Berzelius Stolberg GmbH, the largest lead manufacturer in Europe, to build a sulfuric acid plant operating on the BAYQIK process.

The company is based in Stolberg near Aachen, Germany. The plant has now been successfully brought on stream after just 17 months. The BAYQIK (Quasi-Isotherme-Katalyse [quasi-isothermal catalysis]) process developed by BTS can increase the SO2 inlet concentration by up to 50 percent by volume. Coupled with optimized process management, this results in significantly higher conversion, i.e. sulfur dioxide emissions are greatly reduced. Another benefit is an increase of at least 30 percent in available plant capacity.

Berzelius tested and optimized the process in a pilot application on-site.

Its robustness, quality and cost benefits were the deciding factors in awarding the contract for the planning, delivery and construction of the first large-scale plant based on the BAYQIK process. The facility has a total capacity of 450 metric tons of sulfuric acid per day. As the BAYQIK process is operated on a peripheral basis, the existing sulfuric acid plant was refitted cost-effectively with only a few days' downtime.

Sulfuric acid is one of the most important basic chemicals in the chemical and metal processing industry. It is used in the production of fertilizers, for breaking down ores in the extraction of metals and in metal recycling.

Bayer developed the double contact process over 40 years ago and this method is still used worldwide to produce sulfuric acid.