Experimental Evaluation and Field Application of a Salt Method for SO3 Measurement in Flue Gases

Emil Vainio, D Fleig, Anders Brink, K Andersson, F Johnsson, Mikko Hupa

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35 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, an SO3 measurement technique was evaluated and developed. In the method, a salt is used to capture gaseous SO3/H2SO4. Various salts were tested to evaluate the suitability to measure SO3/H2SO4 without interference from SO2. Salts tested include NaCl, KCl, K2CO3, and CaCl2. The salts were tightly packed into a Teflon tube, and the gas was fed through the salt tube with subsequent reaction between SO3/H2SO4 and the salt with formation of sulfates of the respective salt. After the measurement, the salt was dissolved in water, and the solution was analyzed for sulfate ions. The SO3/H2SO4 concentration in the flue gas could then be determined because the gas volume flowing through the salt was measured together with the amount of sulfate bound in the salt. The method was tested in laboratory conditions, in a 100 kW(th) test unit during air-firing and oxy-fuel combustion, and in an industrial boiler. A first attempt to continuously measure SO3/H2SO4. indirectly with an FTIR, by measuring the release of HCl in the sulfation of KCl, was also made. The conversion of SO3 to H2SO4 in flue gas conditions is discussed. It was found that at the measurement conditions almost all SO3 is present as H2SO4. Therefore, the laboratory study was made with gaseous H2SO4 instead of SO3. The laboratory tests showed that all salts captured all H2SO4. The best selectivity toward H2SO4 was shown for NaCl and KCl; no significant amount of SO2 was captured in these salts. An in situ implementation of the salt method using KCl as salt was used during heavy oil combustion in a Kraft recovery boiler. The salt method showed to be an accurate, inexpensive, and easy way to measure SO3/H2SO4. in flue gases.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)2767–2775
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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