Petroleum and natural gas recovered from their sources contain high concentrations of sulphur dioxide (SO2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and other compounds of sulphur. These compounds are separated and converted into the sulphur through different processes.
Recovered sulphur are elemental sulphur, produced by converting hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which obtains as a byproduct of oil refining and gas processing. Various processes are used for such conversion, but 'claus process' is the most used amongst all. It recovers 93-98% hydrogen sulfide. It is estimated that claus process is used for 85-95 percent of recovered sulphur production.
Primarily, sulphur was recovered from gas processing, petroleum refining and coaking, in order to follow the environmental regulations and restrictions applied on the discharge of sulphur to the environment from the oil and gas processing.
And now, this type of production of sulphur is continuously increasing in accordance with the demand for error-free, clean fuel for industrial uses. Industrial study says that oil and gas industries produce 40-45% of the global sulphur.
Although, recovery of sulphur is an unprofitable process for the gas and oil processing facilities, but according to the environmental regulations, it's an essential step to follow. Also Environmental provisions in many countries demand for the higher recoveries of sulphur. Oil and gas facilities attempt to increase their production and accordingly the capacity of their sulphur recovery units.