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Acid Slurry Making Plant


1.         Product Description:  Acid slurry also known as Dodecyl Benzene Sulphoric Acid is extensively used for the manufacture of detergent powder and washing soap.  It is prepared by sulphonation of dodecylx benzene with sulphuric acid.


2.         Rationale:  All the washing soap and detergent powder consumed in the Amhara Region are imported from Addis Ababa and from abroad.  With 19 million people living in the Region, the consumption of the above products is relatively large; and this will increase with population growth and improvement of income.  Acid slurry being the basic input for producing detergent powder and washing soap should be produced in the Region to start production of the two items.

3.         Market Potential:  The supply of soaps and detergents in the country is composed of domestic production and imports.  Domestic production of soaps and detergents between 2000 and 2004 was about 15,600 tons per year.  All the domestic production of soaps is concentrated in and around Addis Ababa.  The rest of the country is dependent on Addis Ababa.  In terms of consumption, the share of the Amhara Region from domestic production was about 3120 tons.  During the last 10 years, following the trade liberalization policy of the country, imports of soaps and detergents have been increasing every year.  Though specific figures are not available for the time being, a look at the market for soaps and detergents indicates that imported soaps and detergents are much larger in quantity than locally produced soaps and detergents.  With 26 percent of the county’s population, the Amhara Region can absorb the production of soaps and detergents by a medium size plant.  The acid slurry project will supply the basic inputs for soap factories in the Region and also for other similar factories in other parts of the country.

4.         Source of Raw Material: The main inputs for the plant will be dodecyl benzene and sulphuric acid.  The sulphuric acid will be obtained from domestic sources while the dodecyel benzene will be imported.


5.         Process & Technology: There are two processes for the manufacture of acid slurry-continuous and batch.  For small scale plants, the batch process is more appropriate and it is more economical.  As mentioned earlier, the two inputs required are dodecyl benzene and sulphuric acid.  Dodecyl benzene is made from benzene and a propylene polymer.  For sulphonation of 100 parts of dodecyl benzene, 80 parts of sulphuric acid are required.  100 parts of dodcyl benzene is charged into a stainless steel reactor equipped with an agitator which is used to mix dodecyle benzene and sulphuric acid.  Dodecyle benzene is heated to about 450C and sulphuric acid is added slowly in such a way that the temperature of reactor should not exceed 500-550C.  As soon as sulphuric acid (H2SO4) is started to be added, cold water should pass through a jacket.  Mixing takes about 2-3 hours.  After completion of reaction, mass is taken to the settling tank made of lead lined with mild steel.  26.5 parts of ground ice is poured into this settling tank, then spent acid and dodeyle benzene sulphonic acid or acid slurry are separated. 


Main machinery needed include dodecy benzene dozing tank, made of mild steel, sulphuric acid and oleum dozing mild steel tank, reactor (s.s) separator (M.S) lead lined, air compressor, storage tank for D.D.B (M.S.) storage tanks for acids (M.S.), spent acid storage tanks (M.S) lead lined transfer pumps, pipes, valves and fittings.


6.       Estimated Investment: The minimum viable capacity of a batch processing plant is about 300 kg per day.  For this plant, the estimated investment is about Birr 6 million.


7.       Location: Combolcha.