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Study on the reaction between H2S and sulfuric acid for H2 production from H2S splitting cycle



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Because of the high demand for hydrogen in the oil industries, new technologies for hydrogen production are being investigated. The thermochemical splitting cycle is one of them. Among the cycles that have been investigated, sulfur-iodine (S-I) water splitting is the most studied. In the S-I cycle, there are three reactions: H2SO4 decomposition, Bunsen reaction and HI decomposition. A new thermochemical cycle has been developed based on the S-I cycle, which is a H2S splitting cycle. In the H2S cycle, there are also three reactions. The only difference between S-I and H2S cycle is that the H2SO4 decomposition reaction is replaced by a reaction between hydrogen sulfide and sulfuric acid which produces sulfur dioxide, elemental sulfur and water. Research on this reaction has been done for many years, studying thermodynamic, kinetics and mass transfer. This reaction produces sulfur, sulfur dioxide and water. The SO2 produced is the used in the second reaction in the H2S cycle; the Bunsen reaction. The main objective of this research was to find an operating condition to increase the production of SO2 from the reaction between H2S and H2SO4. This study investigated different conditions such as temperature, stirring rate and sulfuric acid concentration to maximize the production of SO2. The temperature and stirring rate range used in the reaction were from 120 to 160°C and from 0 to 400 rpm, respectively. The sulfuric acid concentrations were between 90 and 96 wt%. The results showed that increasing the temperature and the acid concentration in the reaction between H2S and H2SO4, the SO2 produced from this reaction will increase. There is no need to apply stirring in the reaction, because the stirring will increase the surface area which allows the produced sulfur dioxide in the gas phase to be dissolved more in sulfuric acid solution, which favors the unwanted side-reaction between SO2 and H2S. A model that was developed to predict the partial pressure change of SO2 in closed reactor. This model was used to compare the data between experimental and simulation through Matlab software. The simulated data was compared to the experimental data and the results indicated that the model fits the data satisfactorily. Additionally, study on the separation between the remaining sulfuric acid and produced elemental sulfur from the reaction between H2S and H2SO4 were performed. The mixture was placed in an oven at140°C of temperature for two hours. It was found that all small droplets of sulfur produced during the reaction between hydrogen sulfide and sulfuric acid agglomerated and the sulfuric acid solution became clearer.



thermochemical cycle, H2S recovery, elemental sulfur



Master of Science (M.Sc.)


Chemical Engineering


Chemical Engineering



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