Rapid Analysis of SO2 to determine Catalyst Efficiency using Micro GC Fusion
Sulfuric acid is one of the most produced chemicals in the world. Almost 180 million tons are consumed per year on a worldwide basis.1 In the United States alone, billions of pounds are produced and sold for a variety of uses including the formulation of fertilizers, insecticides and detergents.
To generate sulfuric acid, sulfur dioxide (SO2) is oxidized to generate sulfur trioxide (SO3), which when reacted with water, forms sulfuric acid (H2SO4). The majority of sulfuric acid is manufactured using this process. Catalysts facilitate the oxidation of SO2. The analysis of SO2 at the inlet and outlet of the catalytic bed determines the conversion efficiency and performance of the catalyst. A percent level of SO2 is introduced at the catalytic bed inlet. After the catalytic conversion of SO2 to sulfuric acid, the concentration of the SO2 exiting the bed outlet is often around 100
ppm. Since sample integrity may be compromised due to the delay encountered transporting the sample to an analysis lab, it is preferable to obtain accurate results quickly and reliably on-site. Gas chromatography (GC) can be used to accurately analyze a wide concentration range of SO2. Micro GC Fusion is a small, transportable GC capable of analyzing SO2 across a broad linear range. The microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) based thermal conductivity detector (TCD) in Micro GC Fusion is able to accurately measure a wide concentration range of compounds in less than 60 seconds.