Sour Water Stripping

GT-SWS™ is a process designed to remove hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and ammonia (NH3) that accumulates in wastewater during the petrochemical refining process. These compounds must be removed from wastewater before it can be reused in other refinery processes, as their presence increases the corrosiveness of the water.

Our Process

The sour water is generally fed to a sour water storage tank to help separate hydrocarbons and enable feed mixing to stabilize the feed composition to the stripper unit. Sour water from tankage is heated by hot stripped sour water and fed to the sour water stripper. Heat is added to the stripper either directly (“live steam”) or through a steam driven reboiler. H2S and NH3 rise to the top of the stripper column where they are removed. Stripped sour water leaves as the tower bottoms and suitable for reuse in the plant, or sent for further waste water processing. In the case of systems where the H2S and NH3 are to be separately removed, a two column process is utilized. Hydrogen sulfide is removed at the overhead of the first column, and the ammonia is removed in the second column.

There are many nuances to the design and operation of a reliable sour water stripper system. This is driven by the emulsified hydrocarbon contaminants in the feed stream, complexity of the stripping process and the pH shifts that occur and corrosion reactions. Design and operations experience is critical for a robust and reliable system.

Process Advantages

  • Advanced separations technology for hydrocarbon removal from stripper columns
  • Proprietary advanced mass transfer packing and tray technology
  • Modular, skid mounted systems available