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Contact Section - Catalysts - BASF
February 23, 2003

Introduction
Catalyst Types

        04-110
        04-111
        04-115
Associated Links

Catalyst Unloading
Catalyst Loading


Introduction

In 1901, Badische Anilin- & Soda-Fabrik (BASF) was issued German Patents 113933 and 133933 which described their pioneering activities in the development of the contact process which employed a catalyst to promote the oxidation of  SO2 and O2 to give SO3.  At this time the active ingredient in the catalyst was platinum.  Platinum catalysts exhibit high activity but were costly and were easily deactivated by poisons such as arsenic trioxide (As2O3). 

Development continued into alternative catalysts that did not suffer the disadvantages of platinum and were less costly to manufacture.  In 1913, BASF was issued German Patent 291792 and Swiss Patent 71326 for a catalyst consisting of vanadium pentoxide and alkali metal oxides on a porous silica carrier.  This new catalyst was first used in a commercial scale plant in 1915.  The results were successful and the remaining platinum catalysts was soon replaced with vanadium pentoxide catalyst.

Today, BASF offer 3 different types of catalyst in a variety of shapes for various situations in sulphuric acid plants.

Catalyst Types

The physical properties of the catalyst are provided in the following table and a brief description of each catalyst is given below.

  04-110 04-111 04-115
Shapes

S6: 6 mm pellet
S8: 8 mm pellet
SS11x4: 11 x 4 mm star ring
SR10x5: 10 x 5 ring
SR11x4: 11x 4 ring

S6: 6 mm pellet
S8: 8 mm pellet
SS11x4: 11 x 4 mm star ring
SR10x5: 10 x 5 ring
SR11x4: 11x 4 ring

SR10x5: 10 x 5 ring
SS11x4: 11 x 4 mm star ring

V2O5 Content 6 wt% 8 wt% -
Bulk Density - Pellets 600 kg/m³ 550 kg/m³ 5.5
Operating Temperature 400 to 600°C
(752 to 1112ºF)
depending on gas composition
415 to 630°C
(779 to 1166ºF)
depending on gas composition
 
Ignition Temperature minimum 360°C (680°F)
depending on gas composition
minimum 380°C (716°F)
depending on gas composition
 

04-110

Type 04-110 is a proven catalyst primarily used in the first converter bed.  The catalyst is suitable for sulphur combustion gases and for waste gases from metallurgical plants or from H2S combustion (i.e. wet catalysis).  The catalyst possesses a low ignition temperature of 380oC which is useful during initial plant start-ups.  Normal inlet temperatures are in the range of 410 to 430oC.  Maximum operating temperature is 630oC which makes it suitable for treating gases containing up to 13% SO2.

04-111

Type 04-111 is a highly active catalyst for use in catalyst beds after the first bed.  The higher activity results in closer approaches to the thermodynamic equilibrium.  Ignition temperatures can be as low as 360oC depending on the gas composition.  Maximum operating temperatures are limited to 600oC.

04-115

Type 04-115 is a caesium based catalyst which allows normal inlet temperature down to 370 to 385oC depending on gas composition.  The catalyst can be used as an ignition layer in the first pass or in the final pass.  The lower inlet temperatures allow gases containing up to 16% SO2 without thermally overloading the subsequent beds.  The ignition temperature of the catalyst is about 340oC with a maximum operating temperature of 630oC.