hydrogen sulfide dissociation, nonthermal plasma, breakdown voltage, pulsed corona discharge, energy efficiency


Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) dissociation into hydrogen and sulfur has been studied in a pulsed corona discharge reactor (PCDR). Due to the high dielectric strength of pure H2S (~2.9 times higher than air), a non-thermal plasma could not be sustained in pure H2S at discharge voltages up to 30kV with our reactor geometry. Therefore, H2S was diluted with another gas with lower dielectric strength to reduce the breakdown voltage. Breakdown voltages of H2S in four balance gases (Ar, He, N2 and H2) have been measured at different H2S concentrations and pressures. Breakdown voltages are proportional to the partial pressure of H2S and the balance gas. With increasing H2S concentrations, H2S conversion initially increases, reaches a maximum and then decreases. H2S conversion and the reaction energy efficiency depend on the balance gas and the H2S inlet concentrations. H2S conversion in atomic balance gases, such as Ar and He, is more efficient than that in diatomic balance gasses, such as N2 and H2. These observations can be explained by proposed reaction mechanisms of H2S dissociation in different balance gases. The results show that nonthermal plasmas are effective for dissociating H2S into hydrogen and sulfur.

Original Publication Citation

G.B. Zhao, S. John, J.J. Zhang, J.C. Hamann, S. Muknahallipatna, S. Legowski, J.F. Ackerman, M.D. Argyle, "Production of Hydrogen and Sulfur in Hydrogen Sulfide in a Nonthermal-Plasma Pulsed Corona Discharge Reactor." Chemical Engineering Science, 62, 2216-2227, 27.

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Chemical Engineering