Sulfur recovery - claus process

Applications: The Claus process has been developed to recover elemental sulphur from H2S containing gases originating from gas treating plants such as alkanolamine units or physical solvent plants. Modern Claus plants should be able to process H2S/NH3 containing gases as well, originating from Sour Water Strippers.

Description: The Claus process is based on the combustion of part of the H2S to SO2 and the subsequent reaction between the remaining H2S and the SO2 produced, forming sulphur. There are two main varieties of the Claus process: straight through and split flow. The straight through process is used for feed gas containing more than 50% H2S while split flow is applied for gases containing 50 to 15% H2S. The sulphur recovery process consists of a thermal stage (combustion chamber, waste heat boiler) and two or three catalytic reaction stages (reheater, reactor and condenser). In the thermal stage, the Claus reaction takes place at a high temperature level (950-1350°C). The sulphur produced in this stage is condensed either in the waste heat boiler or in the condenser. Subsequently, the gas is reheated to a temperature of 200-300°C before introduction into each reactor stage. The heat generated from the reactions is used for steam production. In the thermal stage, a choice can be made between the production of LP, MP or HP steam. In the sulphur condensers LP steam is generated. The tail gas is sent to an incinerator or tail gas treater.


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  • Sulfur recovery - claus process