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Breakthrough behavior of H2S removal with an iron oxide based CG-4 adsorbent in a fixed-bed reactor



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Abstract Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is an environmentally hazardous, corrosive, and toxic gas, mostly generated in gas and oil industry. For small-scale natural gas processing sites (less than 10 tonne S/day), the use of regenerable iron oxide adsorbent to adsorb H2S from natural gas is still an economical and effective method. The objective of this research project was to understand the performance of an iron oxide adsorbent, recently emerging in the Canadian market, in removing H2S from gas streams. To accomplish this, the breakthrough behaviors of H2S adsorption in a fixed-bed reactor under elevated pressures were studied. The effects of variations in superficial velocity from 0.09 m/s to 0.26 m/s, operating pressure from 4 to 50 atm absolute, and the height of the fixed-bed from 11.7 cm to 24.5 cm on breakthrough curves and sulfur loading were investigated. In all the experiments, the H2S concentration profiles of the exiting gas from the reactor were measured until the bed was saturated. It was found that the shape of the breakthrough curves depend on the superficial velocity and the inlet H2S concentration in gas streams. Under both higher superficial velocity and higher inlet H2S concentration, the shape of the breakthrough curve becomes steeper. The sulfur loading of the adsorbent depends on the superficial velocity, the inlet H2S concentration in gas streams, and the bed height. The sulfur loading decreases as the superficial velocity and the inlet H2S concentration increase, but increases as the bed height increases. The change of operating pressure does not have a significant effect on the shape of the breakthrough curve or sulfur loading of the adsorbent. The investigation was also extended using the regenerated adsorbents. A mathematical formula was developed to describe the breakthrough curves.



Fixed-Bed, Hydrogen Sulfide Removal, Iron Oxide Based Adsorbent, Breakthrough behavior



Master of Engineering (M.Eng.)


Chemical Engineering


Chemical Engineering


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