Use case: Sulfuric Acid Tank

Adsorber for Storage Tank

Tank ventilation for the protection of sulfuric acid in storage tanks

98% sulfuric acid is used in a wide range of applications, for example in the production of nitrogenous fertilizers, the production of surfactants and dyes, and in the manufacture of battery fluid. To optimally store these large quantities of sulfuric acid and protect them from water, GIEBEL GIEBEL Adsorbers® are used for the aeration of these storage tanks.

Necessity of a tank air dryer

Sulfuric acid is strongly hygroscopic and attracts moisture from the air. When water is added to sulfuric acid, sulfuric acid compounds (“sulfuric acid hydrates”) are formed and no free oxonium ions. The resulting compound is strongly exothermic. Water poured on sulfuric acid becomes very hot and evaporates directly.

It is used for drying gases. Concentrated sulfuric acid destroys materials such as paper, wood, cotton, nylon, sugar, meat, etc., because it removes their water. Carbon remains, which can be seen by a black coloration.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to observe this principle when storing sulfuric acid. Therefore, the tank must be protected as efficiently as possible from water, or humidity.

Function and added value

If a sulfuric acid tank is ventilated without an adsorber, all the humidity from the ambient air flows into the tank interior and contaminates the sulfuric acid.

A tank air dryer adsorbs incoming humidity and protects the sulfuric acid from contact with water. The tank interior remains dry and the sulfuric acid pure.

The incoming air is dried to a residual humidity of approx. 2% RH (average 10% RH). This means a considerably lowered dew point and an absolute water content of far below 2 g/m³. The water absorption capacity of the adsorber depends on the amount of desiccant it contains. Here, the maximum capacity is approx. 40% of the initial dry weight.

Structure and design

For the aeration of sulfuric acid tanks with a volume of more than 5 m³, adsorbers are used as pure aerators with a venting system. The air drawn in flows through the adsorber and is dried. The air flowing out of the tank passes through the venting system into the environment. In this way, the tank is protected from overpressure.

Mounting and versions

Combined unit

  • Adsorber is screwed together with venting system. Mounting in an easily accessible place to be able to perform maintenance on the adsorber.
  • Advantage is that the unit can be mounted and serviced combined.

Venting system as end fitting

  • Adsorber is mounted in the working area. Highly visible to detect color changes and to maintain the adsorber.
  • Adsorber has only supply valves for air sucked in. Outgoing air is exhausted through the venting system as end fitting e.g. via the roof.