Kinetics of high-pressure removal of hydrogen sulfide using calcium oxide powder



Sulfidation reaction of CaO at high pressure (up to 2 MPa) and high temperature (up to 900°C) to remove H2S in a coal-fired gasifier was studied in a high-pressure and temperature differential-bed flow-through reactor. Experimental conditions selected are typical for pressurized gasifiers. Effects of total pressure, H2S partial pressure, reaction temperature, fuel gas composition, and CaO surface area on the extent of sulfur capture and sorbent conversions were determined. The gasifier pressure affected the in-situ calcination of calcium carbonate particles through reduction in available surface area and pore volume of CaO formed, thus limiting the sulfidation conversion. Time-resolved conversion data of CaO sulfidation were analyzed using a modified grain model. The model incorporates external and internal diffusion, surface reaction, product layer diffusion, and the structural changes of the sulfiding CaO particle. The activation energy for the reaction was 37 kcal/mol. The estimated product layer diffusivity was 8×10−15 m2/s at 800°C with an associated activation energy of 38.4 kcal/mol—typical of solid state diffusion of ionic species through the product layer. The extent of conversion increased with increasing initial surface area and porosity of CaO particles. The high-pressure sulfidation reaction data for CaO will be useful in understanding and optimizing the in-gasifier H2S capture using calcium-based sorbents.