Unigel partners with Elessent Clean Technologies to build sulfuric acid plant in Brazil

Unigel partners with Elessent Clean Technologies to build sulfuric acid plant in Brazil

The new plant will be constructed in the coastal state of Bahia, Brazil

  • By ICN Bureau | January 19, 2023
Brazilian chemical maker Unigel RI (Unigel) – one of Latin America's largest chemical companies and Brazil's top manufacturer of nitrogen fertilizers – has contracted with MECS, Inc. (MECS), a subsidiary of Elessent Clean Technologies, for the construction of a new sulfur burning sulfuric acid plant to displace the import of sulfuric acid for their downstream chemical processes. The new plant will be constructed in the coastal state of Bahia. With sustainability as a core value, Unigel’s new plant will also be used to generate utility steam that will provide reliable and carbon-free power throughout their industrial complex.
The design and construction of this new sulfuric acid plant, the first for Unigel and the first for Brazil in over 15 years, is an integral step to enabling more streamlined operations and positioning Unigel as a key player in the widespread distribution of sulfuric acid to consumers. Unigel operates on four major pillars: sustainability, quality, safety and reliability; and we knew we needed the market leader for this project. The MECS technology, products and equipment used in the plant’s design are world class and will ensure our commitment to our customers while ESG practices are met,” said Unigel CEO, Roberto Noronha Santos.
The project also contributes to the challenges of decarbonizing the production chain, since the steam produced in the new sulfuric acid plant will be free from the burning of fossil fuels thereby reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This is in addition to other environmental initiatives promoted by Unigel, including Brazil's first green hydrogen plant which Unigel is pioneering. “Unigel focuses on investments that enable the company to decarbonize its operations while also providing solutions for the industry,” said Noronha.
The MECS sulfuric acid process design for Unigel incorporates state of the art products and technologies, such as MECS GEAR catalyst for ultra-low emissions and high conversion, Brink AutoDrain technology for operational efficiency, as well as UniFlo distributors, acid coolers and acid piping. The addition of the new plant will also facilitate increased capacity for Unigel to better serve their clients, as well as benefiting the region by contributing to a more competitive sulfuric acid supply chain.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Unigel to supply the MECS sulfuric acid technology at the Camacari, Bahia facility. The plant is essential to Unigel’s operations at the complex as it brings them greater energy and raw material independence. We have worked closely with Unigel over the last few years to generate the optimized solution for the plant, while ensuring maximum efficiency so Unigel can remain a reliable supplier into the future,” said Eli Ben-Shoshan, CEO, Elessent Clean Technologies.
Startup of the new sulfuric acid plant at the Bahia, Brazil site is expected to take place in the first half of 2023.

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