(539f) Oxidative Sulfur Removal for Distributed Energy Resources

Authors: 
Yang, H., IntraMicron, Inc.
Dimick, P., IntraMicron, Inc.
Rath, S., IntraMicron Inc.
Williams, T., IntraMicron, Inc.
Neumann, T., North Carolina State University
Milton, S., IntraMicron, Inc.
Webb, K., IntraMicron, Inc.
Tatarchuk, B., IntraMicron, Inc.

Small-scale distributed energy resources such as biogas, landfill gas, and flare gas are alternative fuel sources that can contribute significant greenhouse gas emissions if they are not utilized.  The major challenge associated with utilizing these small-scale resources is the high costs associated with gas clean-up, especially sulfur removal. IntraMicron’s Oxidative Sulfur Removal (OSR) is an innovative sulfur removal and recovery system developed to address the current need for scalable desulfurization technology. It contains a selective catalytic process that transforms up to 99% of sulfur-containing species into elemental sulfur using air as oxidant. The elemental sulfur is recovered through sulfur condensation as a useful byproduct. The catalyst is chemically inert to most contaminants in these energy resources and it can maintain its high catalytic activity during the longer term operations. The OSR catalyst maintains near 100% selectivity to elemental sulfur even in the presence of 10 times the stoichiometric amount of air. As a result, the strict oxidizer control based on inlet sulfur concentration is not required, which significantly simplifies OSR operation. This is particularly beneficial for applications with varying sulfur levels. For applications where relatively high sulfur concentrations are acceptable (from a few ppm to 25 ppm), the OSR reactor(s) and sulfur condenser can operate stand-alone, which can completely eliminate the use of adsorbents leading to a low-cost and environmentally-friendly desulfurization process. In cases where adsorbents are needed for low sulfur applications, an adsorbent bed equipped with IntraMicron’s Bed Life Sensor (BLS) can be utilized to minimize adsorbent consumption. Due to its process robustness and simplicity, OSR provides up to a 65% reduction in desulfurization cost, up to a 31-fold reduction in reactor volume, and up to an 85-fold reduction in solid waste generation. With these advantages, OSR enables the economical and environmentally-friendly utilization of numerous stranded, sulfur-laden resources that currently cannot be produced due to technical and economic limitations.
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