RTI International signs agreement with Clariant to supply unique sorbent for warm gas desulfurization technology

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC –  RTI International has signed a global licensing agreement with Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, granting exclusive rights of supply for its solid sorbent material which is vital for RTI’s warm gas desulfurization process (WDP) technology.

WDP is an advanced market-ready technology for producing cleaner energy and chemicals from coal and other high-sulfur feedstocks. It enables sulfur-containing gas streams, such as synthesis gas (or syngas) from coal or petcoke gasification, to be cleaned at elevated temperatures (250-650°C), thus reducing or eliminating the need for substantial gas cooling and expensive heat recovery. This increases overall process efficiency, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and reduces the capital and operating costs of the entire gas cleanup block by up to 50 percent compared to conventional technologies.

“We are very excited to have Clariant as the supplier of our WDP solid sorbent,” said Raghubir Gupta, Ph.D., senior vice president, Energy Technology Division at RTI. “Cooperation with a well-respected, innovative and reliable catalyst partner is essential for RTI’s new process development. Our relationship with Clariant spans several decades (including their predecessor companies Süd-Chemie and United Catalysts), and they have been a reliable supplier for all of the sorbent and catalyst materials used in the successful scale-up and demonstration of our WDP technology.”

A solid fluidizable sorbent to be supplied by Clariant is key to the WDP technology due to its unique characteristics. Able to function across a wide range of operating temperatures and pressures, the quick-reacting sorbent has a high capacity for adsorbing sulfur, removing H2S and COS to very low levels and allowing customers to treat large gas stream volumes. The sorbent is regenerable with a low attrition rate and long cycle lengths without major replacement requirements, thus reducing the need for shut-downs.

“Clariant has always played a pioneering role in advanced material development for process improvement,” said Stefan Heuser, senior vice president and general manager Business Unit Catalysts at Clariant. “We are delighted to be appointed as the exclusive supplier of this important sorbent for RTI’s warm gas desulfurization technology. A partnership with such an eminent organization only validates further Clariant’s commitment to excellence and innovation.”

WDP technology uses a novel transport reactor design and this unique high capacity, regenerable, attrition-resistant solid sorbent with excellent performance. The technology can achieve up to 99.9 percent removal of total sulfur from syngas at temperatures as high as 650°C and over a wide range of sulfur concentrations. The process was demonstrated, with funding support from the U.S. Department of Energy, on a 54,000 Nm3/h synthesis gas stream in a coal/petcoke gasification plant at Tampa Electric’s Polk Power Station in Florida, where it operated successfully for more than 3,500 hours.

The integration of this technology with a downstream activated-amine carbon capture process enabled further reduction of total sulfur in the syngas to sub-ppmv concentrations (as low as 100 parts per billion), suitable for stringent synthesis gas applications such as chemicals, fertilizers, and fuels.

Last year, RTI and Casale SA entered into a global licensing and cooperation agreement for RTI’s WDP technology under which Casale obtained the exclusive right to sublicense the WDP process technology to customers on a worldwide basis. 

Clariant is a leading supplier of catalysts and sorbents used in the synthesis gas, or syngas, process industry, with a long history of innovation and expertise in the field. Clariant has already produced more than 100 tons of the WDP sorbent in commercial-scale equipment for use in RTI’s scale-up and near-commercial demonstration testing of the WDP technology.

A solid fluidizable sorbent is key to the WDP technology due to its unique characteristics

Highlights

  • RTI International has signed a global licensing agreement with Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, granting exclusive rights of supply for its solid sorbent material which is vital for RTI’s warm gas desulfurization process technology
  • Warm gas desulfurization process technology is an advanced market-ready technology for producing cleaner energy and chemicals from coal and other high-sulfur feedstocks