It is a strong metallic soluble acid at all concentrations. It used to be called “Oil of Vitrio”. That was the name given in the 8th century by the Muslim Chemistry Scholar “Geber the alchemist” after he discovered the chemical compound. Sulfuric acid has multiple applications, and is one of the most products in the chemical industries, where the world production in 2001 was about 165 million tons at the value of US$ 8 billion.
The major uses of sulfuric acid include metallic ores treatment, fertilizers industries, oil refinery, wastewater treatment, and chemical formations. A number of proteins include sulfur in the amino acids, such as cysteine and methionine, which are producing sulfuric acid during the metabolism process in the human body.
Sulfuric acid is produced in two units with 98.5% concentration, and a designed daily capacity of 2,500 tons for each unit. Sulfur used in producing sulfuric acid is imported from Arab neighboring countries, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and from some foreign countries as Russia and Iran.
Sulfur is stored in a storage facility of a capacity of 35,000 tons, in addition to an indoor storage yard that can take 18,000, and another storage yard outside the Complex, which can take about 150,000 tons.
Sulfur is dragged from the stores by loaders and fed onto conveyor belts, where it gets melted in special pools by medium-pressure vapor, and adding some materials for purification. Liquid sulfur is stored in a heat-insulated storage of the capacity of 7,000 tons, at a temperature of 135 Celsius.
Liquid sulfur is pumped into a kiln at a temperature of 1000 degree Celsius, where it is burnt with the presence of dry atmospheric air to be transformed into sulfur dioxide in the state of gas. As that chemical reaction is an exothermal one, the released temperature is then used in producing high pressure steam (at 46 atmospheric pressure), which represents 75% of the produced steam in the Industrial Complex, and conveyed to the Facilities Unit.
Sulfur dioxide, in the state of gas is passed into a four-stage reactor containing Vanadium oxide (V2O5) as a catalyst, where it is transformed into sulfur trioxide (SO3).
That gas is then directed to absorption towers where it reacts with water producing sulfuric acid at a concentration of 98.5%, then, cooled down and stored in two tanks with the total capacity of about 24,000 tons.
Sulfuric acid is used in various industries such as water treatment, batteries, and as a solvent in various industries. It is also used in producing phosphoric acid.