Polythionic acids, whose general formula is H2SnO6, with n greater than 2, were discovered in the aqueous solution of SO2 and H2S, known as the Wackenroder liquid. Their reactions with each other and with other reagents are, mostly, difficult to characterize, since such compounds readily decompose and interconvert, especially in solution. Nevertheless, they play an important role in technical applications (e.g., gold leaching, magnesium milling, cooling in metal processing) and in reactions of inorganic chemistry of sulfur. A few years ago, Shell−Paques/Paqell patented the first industrial process for the biological conversion of H2S into a colloidal mixture of sulfur and polythionates. Such hydrophilic sulfur can be used as a fertilizer and soil improver in agriculture in all but alkaline soils. Recently, Eni S.p.A. has developed to bench plant scale a new process, the HydroClaus process for the conversion of H2S into an acidic hydrophilic slurry of sulfur and polythionate ions. Such a slurry can be used as a soil improver where the very alkaline soil pH hinders the cultivation. The aim of this work is to study the laboratory-scale production of polythionates in view of the novel HydroClaus process scale-up at the industrial level. After the literature related to polythionates and their characterization has been revised, the sulfur-based mixture has been synthesized and the polythionate ions concentration has been determined. Also, the effect of the reaction operating conditions has been investigated to assess how they can influence the nature and the distribution of products in solution.

Polythionic Acids in the Wackenroder Reaction

Elvira Spatolisano;Laura A. Pellegrini;Simone Gelosa;Francesca Broglia;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Polythionic acids, whose general formula is H2SnO6, with n greater than 2, were discovered in the aqueous solution of SO2 and H2S, known as the Wackenroder liquid. Their reactions with each other and with other reagents are, mostly, difficult to characterize, since such compounds readily decompose and interconvert, especially in solution. Nevertheless, they play an important role in technical applications (e.g., gold leaching, magnesium milling, cooling in metal processing) and in reactions of inorganic chemistry of sulfur. A few years ago, Shell−Paques/Paqell patented the first industrial process for the biological conversion of H2S into a colloidal mixture of sulfur and polythionates. Such hydrophilic sulfur can be used as a fertilizer and soil improver in agriculture in all but alkaline soils. Recently, Eni S.p.A. has developed to bench plant scale a new process, the HydroClaus process for the conversion of H2S into an acidic hydrophilic slurry of sulfur and polythionate ions. Such a slurry can be used as a soil improver where the very alkaline soil pH hinders the cultivation. The aim of this work is to study the laboratory-scale production of polythionates in view of the novel HydroClaus process scale-up at the industrial level. After the literature related to polythionates and their characterization has been revised, the sulfur-based mixture has been synthesized and the polythionate ions concentration has been determined. Also, the effect of the reaction operating conditions has been investigated to assess how they can influence the nature and the distribution of products in solution.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1187287
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