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A regenerable oxide-based H2S adsorbent with nanofibrous morphology

Nature Nanotechnology volume 7, pages 810815 (2012) | Download Citation

Abstract

Hydrogen sulphide is found in raw fuels such as natural gas and coal/biomass-derived syngas. It is poisonous to catalysts and corrosive to metals and therefore needs to be removed. This is often achieved using metal oxides as reactive adsorbents, but metal oxides perform poorly when subjected to repeated cycles of sulphidation and re-oxidation1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 as a result of complex structural and chemical changes. Here, we show that Zn–Ti–O-based adsorbents with nanofibrous morphology can sustain their initial reactivity and sulphur removal capacity over multiple regeneration cycles. These nanostructured sorbents offer rapid reaction rates that overcome the gas-transport limitations of conventional pellet-based sorbents1,13 and allow all of the material to be used efficiently. Regeneration can be carried out at the same temperature as the sulphidation step because of the higher reactivity, which prevents sorbent deterioration and reduces energy use. The efficient regeneration of the adsorbent is also aided by structural features such as the growth of hierarchical nanostructures and preferential stabilization of a wurtzite phase in the sulphidation product.

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Acknowledgements

M.B. acknowledges the Dow Chemical Company for a graduate fellowship and thanks Q. Yang for assistance with sample preparation. P.K.J. acknowledges startup support from the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory where characterization was performed. M.A.S. acknowledges support from the NSF Science and Technology Center WaterCAMPWS.

Author information

Author notes

    • Mark A. Shannon

    Deceased

Affiliations

  1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 600 S. Mathews, CLSL-A226, Box 76-6, MC-712, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA

    • Mayank Behl
  2. Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1206 W. Green Street, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA

    • Junghoon Yeom
  3. Institute for Combustion Science and Environmental Technology, Department of Chemistry, Western Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Boulevard, Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101, USA

    • Quentin Lineberry
  4. Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 600 S. Mathews, CLSL-A224, Box 16-6, Urbana, Illinois 61801

    • Prashant K. Jain
  5. Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2130 MEL MC-244, 1206 W. Green Street, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA

    • Mark A. Shannon

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Contributions

M.B., J.Y. and M.A.S. developed the concept. M.B., M.A.S. and P.K.J designed the experiments. M.B. and Q.L. carried out the experiments. M.B. and J.Y. performed material characterization. Data analysis was performed by M.B., J.Y. and P.K.J. The manuscript was written by M.B., J.Y., P.K.J. and M.A.S.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Prashant K. Jain.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2012.194