Sour water refers to wastewater that is generated during the refining process and contains high levels of H2S, CO2 and NH3, which are byproducts of various processes. Sour water strippers are a type of industrial towers used in oil refineries and petrochemical plants to remove hydrogen sulfide (H2S), carbon dioxide (CO2) and ammonia (NH3) from sour water streams.
Sour water strippers employ a method using stripping medium, steam, fuel gas or nitrogen. In this process, the sour water is heated within a distillation tower, while stripping medium is introduced from the lower section. Through this technique, the unwanted components are effectively separated from the water.
Steps of process:
- Removing H2S, CO2 and NH3 from the water, as the stripping medium ascends within the column
- Expelling H2S, CO2 and NH3 alongside the stripping medium
- Cooling gases
- Direct to a sulfur recovery unit (SRU)
- For the water that no longer contains H2S, CO2 and NH3, it has the option to undergo additional treatment for reuse in the refining process or be discharged.
Sustaining eco-friendly and secure norms within refineries and petrochemical plants is made possible through the indispensability of sour water strippers. These specialized towers effectively hinder the emission of noxious fumes into the air and mitigate the likelihood of equipment and pipeline corrosion.