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Organic liquid (solvents) are used in these processes to absorb H2S(usually) preferentially
over CO2 at high pressure and low temperatures. Regeneration is carried out by releasing the
pressure to the atmosphere and sometimes in vacuum with no heat.


This process uses propylene carbonate to remove CO2, H2S, C+2, COS, CS2, and H2O from
natural gas. Thus, in one step, the natural gas can be sweetened and dehydrated.

Fluor process

This Figure shows a typical process flow sheet with regeneration consisting of three flash
drums. The first flash drum gas containing mostly hydrocarbons is compressed and recycled.
The second flash drum derives expansion turbine. The third flash contains mainly acid gases.

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This process uses N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone also known as NMP as a solvent licensed by Lurgi.
The solvent removes H2S, CO2, H2O, RSH, and hydrocarbons and elastomers. The feature
of this solvent is that it is highly selective for H2S,


This process uses a mixture of dimethyl ether of propylene glycols as a solvent. It is nontoxic
and its boiling point is not high enough for amine formulation.
This process is used when there is a high acid gas partial pressure and no heavy
hydrocarbons. DIPA?(di-isopropanolamine) can be added to this solvent to remove CO2 down
to pipeline specifications.


This process uses a solvent which is 40% sulfolane (tetrahydrothiophene 1-1 dioxide), 40%
DIPA (di-isopropanolamine), and 20% water. It is an excellent example of enhancing amine
selectivity by adding a physical solvent such as sulfolane. Sulfolane is an excellent solvent of
sulfur compounds such as H2S, COS, and CS2. Aromatics, heavy hydrocarbons, and CO2
are soluble to a lesser extent. Sulfinol is usually used for H2S/ CO2 ratios greater than 1:1 or
where CO2 removal is not required to the same extent as H2S.


Purisol has the highest capacity for absorption of acid gases and it is the most selective;
however, it is the most volatile. Selexol is more selective than Fluor solvent, but it dissolves


There are many processes used to convert H2S to sulfur; however, our discussion here is
limited to those processes applied to natural gas. Generally, H2S is absorbed in an alkine
solution containing an oxidizing agent which converts it to sulfur. The solution is regenerated
by air in a flotation cell (oxidizer). The following processes are used for this purpose.


The absorbing solution is dilute Na2CO3, NaVO3, and anthraquinone disulfonic acid (ADA).

Stretford process

The Stretford process is shown in this Figure. Sour gas enters the bottom of absorber and
sweet gas exits at the top. The Stretford solution enters at the top of the absorber and some
time should be allowed for reaction to take place in the bottom part of the absorber, where
H2S is selectively absorbed. The reaction products are fed to the oxidizer, where air is blown
to oxidize ADA (hydroquinone) back to ADA (quinone). The sulfur froth is skimmed and sent
to either a filtration or centrifugation unit. If heat is used, molten sulfur is produced; otherwise
a filter sulfur cake is obtained. The filtrate of these units along with the liquid from the oxidized
are sent back to the absorber.


This process uses as extremely dilute solution of iron chelates. A small portion of the
chelating agent is depleted in some side reactions and is lost with precipitatedsulfur. The
reduced iron ion is regenerated in the generated by blowing air.The sulfur is removed from
the regenerator to centrifugation and melting. Application of heat is not required because of
the exothermic reaction.

LOCAT process

In this figure, sour gas is contacted with the chelating reagent in the absorber and H2S reacts
with the dissolved iron to form elemental sulfur. The sulfur is removed from the regenerator to
centrifugation and melting. Application of heat is not required because of the exothermic


Chelating iron compounds are also the heart of the sulferox process. Sulferox is a redox
technology, as is the LoCat; however, in this case, a concentrated iron solution is used to
oxidize H2S to elemental sulfur. Patented organic liquids or chelating agents are used to
increase the solubility of iron in the operating solution. As a result of high iron concentrations
in the solution the rate of liquid circulation can be kept low and, consequently, the equipment
is small.
Sulferox process

In this Figure, the sour gas enters the contactor, where H2S is oxidized to give elemental
sulfur. The treated gas and the Sulferox solution flow to the separator, where sweet gas exits
at the top and the solution is sent to the regenerator where Fe2 is oxidized by air to Fe3 and
the solution is regenerated and sent back to the contactor. Sulfur settles in the regenerator
and is taken from the bottom to filtration, where sulfur cake is produced. At the top of the
regenerator, spent air is released. A makeup Sulferox solution is added to replace the
degradation of the ligands. Proper control of this degradation rate and purging of the
degradation products will ensure smooth operation of the process.

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Polymeric membranes separate gases by selective permeation of gas species in these

membranes. The gas dissolves at the contact surface of the membrane and permeate across
the membrane under the partial pressure gradient across the membrane wall.

The basic idea of the process is to flow sour gas on one side of the membrane where only
acid gases diffuse across the membrane to the permeate side and the rest of the gas exits as
sweet gas,

Basic operation of cross-flow pattern in the membrane

As shown in this Figure. Two module configurations are usually used: the spiral module and
the hollow-fiber module. Spiral-wound membranes consist of sandwich of four sheets
wrapped around a central core of a perforated collecting tube. The whole spiral-wound
element is housed inside a metal shell. The feed gas enters at the left end of the shell, enters
the feed channel, and flows through this channel in the axial direction of the spiral to the right
end of the assembly,

Spiral-wound elements and assembly

The exit sweet gas leaves the shell at this point. The acid gases permeate perpendicularly
through the membrane. This permeate then flows through the permeate channel to the
perforated collecting tube, where it leaves the apparatus at one end. The direction of flows in
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