MARTIN BOND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTIN BOND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sulphuric acid plant in Billingham, Cleveland. The first stage in its manufacture is to obtain sulphur dioxide by burning sulphur. The product is then purifyed & mixed with air. The next stage is the slow stage & it is the conversion of sulphur dioxide to sulphur trioxide - the Contact Process. In order to speed up the reaction, conditions of high temperature, high pressure & the use of a catalyst are employed. In the final stage, sulphur trioxide is mixed with water to produce sulphuric acid. This acid is one of the most widely used chemicals; it is needed, among others, in the manufacture of fertilizers, soaps, paints, fibres, pharmaceuticals & plastics.
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