Paul Bacon, Eco Services' business director, explains that Stauffer built its acid recycling business during World War II, when sulfuric acid was in great demand for turning out the high-octane aviation fuel required for the war effort. Stauffer built acid regeneration plants adjacent or close to refineries in Texas, Louisiana, California, and Indiana. Today, Eco Services operates six plants regenerating 3 million metric tons of sulfuric acid a year, Bacon says. The company uses pipelines, barges, rail, and trucks to get spent acid from refiners. It regenerates the acid and returns 99.5% pure product to them. Success in the regeneration business doesn't depend on research but rather on process improvements and customer service. "We adjust our regeneration rates according to our customers' needs," Bacon explains. For instance, Eco Services uses remote electronic sensors to monitor sulfuric acid tanks at customer sites. When needed, it picks up spent acid and replenishes stores of fresh acid. "Our refinery customers concentrate on refining gasoline, and we deliver accordingly," Bacon says.
by Marc S. Reisch |
April 07, 2008