Tuesday 11 October 2016

Sulfur Mining : The Frasch Process

Frasch Process diagram (via nuroil.com)

sulfur is an essential element in our daily life. it is the 16th element in the periodic table with standard atomic weight of 32. it is solid in ambient temperature and it has melting point of 115 centigrade.  many daily goods from detergent, pesticide, to pharmaceuticals can be traced to involve sulfur in their production process. sulfur can be obtained in many ways of production, e.g. mining, from volcanoes, and from side product of petroleum processing. in this article we are going to discuss how sulfur is mined, by a process named Frasch process.
the Frasch process was mostly utilized in obtaining natural sulfur deposit back to the nineteenth century. it was done to obtain sulfur from an underground sulfur well. the process was named after the inventor Herman Frasch, an American chemist who invented it in 1894.
this process is so simple and often taught to undergraduate chemical engineering students. this process utilizes three concentric pipes as we can see from the preceding graph. in the beginning, superheated water is pumped through the outermost pipe. it has temperature of 165 centigrade and pressure of 2.5 to 3 MPa. at the given temperature the deposited sulfur will be melted, making it easier to collect. the melted sulfur is then pushed upwards through the middle pipe by the hot compressed air injected through the innermost pipe. hot air is blown to make the melted sulfur less dense and easier to collect, as the superheated water itself is not strong enough to push the melted sulfur to the surface.
the melted sulfur reaching surface is so pure (almost 100% purity). but then the total operating cost is so high that this process was abandoned as other more economical process was invented.


Yogyakarta, October 11th, 2016
many things seems just like copy pasted.
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