A furnace is necessary for the combustion of liquid sulfur in air:
The sulfur dioxide then undergoes a catalytic conversion into sulfur trioxide,
, in an adiabatic reactor:
Sulfur trioxide is prepared on a massive scale as a precursor to sulfuric acid.
This Demonstration computes the extent of reaction,
, the exit temperature,
, and the composition of the effluent for the adiabatic converter used for
production. To do so, one has to write: (1) the chemical equilibrium using the equilibrium constant
, obtained by fitting the free energy data versus temperature for SO2
, and (2) the energy balance:
, which exploits the fact that the converter is adiabatic.
Finally, the temperature at the entrance of the converter is chosen equal to
=700 Kelvin, a value that depends on the energy produced in the furnace,
, used to generate live or superheated steam.
The user-specified values of the mole fraction of SO2
are in the range typically used in the industry.