Background commonly known as H2S is a widely


Dangers of hydrogen sulphide

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Hydrogen sulphide, commonly known as H2S is a
widely spread hazardous gas. Usually found with high levels of concentration in
natural gasses and crude oils. Human exposure to H2S will yield an
odor of rotten egg. Humans can also start to smell this odor at low
concentrations of H2S, around 0.47 ppb. Many successful lawsuits
have been filed against H2S producers within the oil and gas sector,
claiming the highly toxic gas gives them nausea. When humans are exposed to H2S,
and the concentration increases with time, the rotten egg odor is no longer
sensible leading to high risks on health. As of today, the minimum concentration
of H2S leading to risks on human life is 100 ppm. It is
important to note that in some gas compositions H2S is present with
higher levels over 100 ppm. High levels of H2S mixed with air produces
an explosive mixture. Corrosion is another problem relating to hydrogen sulphide,
causing environmental issues exceeding $1.3 billion in damages. A current
report analysing the industry spend on HSE (health, safety and environment) concerns
will increase 60% by 2030. The cost of HSE concerns from oil companies in 2011
was $36 billion, and in 2030 it is estimated to reach $56 billion. The results of
these increased costs will decrease the number of health breaches within the
next years.

Treatment of hydrogen sulphide

There are several processes used to eliminate hydrogen sulphide.
Conventional tower aeration is one method used, which lowers the PH levels of
water containing H2S to a certain degree that ensures the gaseous
hydrogen sulphide remains within the dissolved gas form. Another method used is
simply burying H2S beneath the ground to prevent it from contamination.
However, the most common method used to extract H2S from gases is the
Claus process.

Claus process is used in most if not all oil refinery companies.
Hydrogen sulphide is first extracted from crude oils using gasification. H2S
then undergoes a series of chemical reactions with oxygen rich environments in the
furnace, reaching temperatures exceeding 1000 oC. In this phase, one
third of H2S is burned (R1), resulting with sulphur dioxide and
water. The remaining unburned hydrogen sulphide then reacts with sulphur
dioxide in the next phase of the Claus process (R2), the catalytic reactions. In
this phase, the gas is treated at much lower temperatures compared to the
burner phase. Sulphur is formed and condensed to its precipitation point. The
catalytic reactions are then repeated several times to increase the production
of elemental sulphur. This literature review will focus on the burner phase of the
Claus process, specifically relating to the formation of hydrogen sulphide. Better
understanding of the chemical reactions leading to H2S formation during
gasification will lead to an improved input into the combustion system.
Therefore, increasing the efficiency of the burner phase in the Claus process.

Formation of Hydrogen Sulphide Reaction Mechanism

As discussed above, hydrogen sulphide is a very hazardous
gas to be found in the atmosphere. It is well known to be a very chemical
dominant element. The presence of H2S will immensely change the chemical
kinetics of any chemical reaction it occurs in. Subsequently, the existence of
a reaction mechanism successfully representing the chemical kinetics of H2S
experimentally will yield better results regarding H2S combustion. This
emphasised previous chemists and researchers to study and develop a numeric recreation
of H2S in combustion.


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