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Sunday, May 19, 2024

92% believe acidic hydrocarbons have a role to play in the energy transition


92% of business and technology leaders surveyed at the Middle East Sulfur Conference (MEScon) in 2023 said acidic hydrocarbons play an important role in the energy transition.

Hosted by Adnoc and organized by global commodities business intelligence firm CRU and sulfur hydrocarbons and sulfur specialist consultancy UniverSUL Consulting (UniverSUL), the conference discussed the most pressing opportunities and challenges facing the sulfur industry.

There is widespread agreement that acidic hydrocarbons will play an important role in the energy transition, suggesting that sulfur is no longer considered a low-value by-product of hydrocarbon processing.

The role of sulfur

When asked about the biggest opportunity for acidic hydrocarbons in the energy transition, 49% cited the supply of sulfur to the fertilizer industry to support population growth and the stability of the world’s food supply, given sulfur’s role in agriculture, This is perhaps not surprising.

Interestingly, nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents indicated that H2S could be used as a raw material for the production of hydrogen, which could eventually become an important means of replacing fossil fuels in industries that struggle to abate emissions.

Angie Slavens, Managing Director of UniverSUL, commented: “This discovery reflects a clear awareness of the event and the reality as understood by the industry. That said, sulfur will continue to be a vital part of our future, from fertilizers to general industry to Sulfur is demanded by numerous industries such as electric vehicle batteries – all of which are key to ensuring a just energy transition.Having this event in the Middle East is crucial given that the region will continue to play an increasing role in sulfur supply. ”


Survey respondents pointed to a growing reliance on sulfur, with 70% believing that a chronic shortage of sulfur would be more harmful to the world than a chronic oversupply. Interestingly, however, 84% of respondents cannot foresee a future in which global sulfur supply is no longer dominated by oil and gas recovery, as oil and gas currently account for more than 95% of sulfur supply.

Peter Harrisson, chief analyst for sulfur and sulfuric acid at CRU, said: “This insight reflects the careful balancing act that the industry will take in the coming years.” He added: “Demand for sulfur shows no signs of abating. In fact, it is increase. At the same time, the global focus on renewable energy has also increased, which in turn has hindered the production of sulfur. To ensure that these sustainable and the carbon intensity of natural gas production, while exploring novel process options and technologies to diversify the way sulfur enters the market.”

multiple topics

MEScon 2023 explores multiple topics with panel discussions, poster sessions/spotlights, workshops and technical showcases on key topics including:

*Looking forward to the new value of H2S in the energy transition

* Sulfur recovery moves towards net zero

* Operational considerations and design innovations for asset life and performance

*Sustainably meet SO2 emission targets

Held at the Conrad Hotel at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi, the event welcomed more than 650 attendees from 89 companies and 23 countries. The annual meeting will be held again in May 2024. — trade arab news agency


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