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Fertilised waste

September 1, 2000, 10:00 CEST

A production facility which turns sulphur into agricultural fertiliser has begun operation at Statoil's Kalundborg refinery in Denmark.

Costing DKK 70 million, this plant is the first of its kind and has been developed, built and delivered by Denmark's Haldor Topsøe.

Statoil owns and operates the facility as an integrated part of the refinery to utilise sulphur extracted from all crude oils.

Most of this by-product – about 4,000 tonnes per year – has previously been converted into pure sulphur and sold to chemical companies.

But even the advanced separation plant at Kalundborg left behind about 275 tonnes annually, which was emitted as 550 tonnes of sulphur dioxide.

The new facility will allow all the sulphur from the refinery to be converted into the liquid fertilise ammonium thiosulphate (ATS).

This reduces emissions of sulphur dioxide by roughly 60 per cent, and nitrogen oxides by 30 per cent.

"We brought the plant into operation before the weekend, and everything appears to functioning as it should so far," says refinery head Egil Sæl.

Annual production of ATS is expected to reach 15-27,000 tonnes, depending on the crude oils and other feedstock used by the refinery. This output will be marketed by the Dangødning company.