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Gas Filtration


Hydrogen sulfide is a contaminant present in many gases used throughout industry. It is present in varying concentration in all natural gas; in fact, more than one-third of the world's natural gas contains significant quantities of hydrogen sulfide and is considered "sour". Industry has developed many commercial processes for the removal of hydrogen sulfide from gas streams for various specific applications. While many of these processes have been successful in removing the great majority of hydrogen sulfide, most leave low concentrations of the contaminant in the treated gas. Modern processing equipment may suffer problems and failures when hydrogen sulfide is present:


  • Diesel engines operating on natural gas for emergency power generation or on landfill gas often develop corrosion problems.
  • Turbines used for peak power generation frequently develop corrosion problems.
  • Catalyst used in hydrogen fuel cells deactivates upon exposure.
  • Catalyst used in many industrial processes such as methanol synthesis deactivates upon exposure.
  • Laboratory instruments such as gas chromatographs will not provide proper analytical results due to an unstable baseline.

Controlling hydrogen sulfide to very low levels can result in significant cost savings by extending the life of process equipment and catalysts used in processing.


SWAPSOL's Gas Filtration Process
SWAPSOL Corporation has developed and is commercializing a suite of gas treating technologies and absorbents, known broadly as the SWAP. The company offers high capacity gas filters and sorbent beds that are capable of reducing hydrogen sulfide to very low concentrations for most applications over a large range of gas flow rates. The process can accommodate inlet feed concentrations of 20%; the sorbent bed can be designed to provide long times on-stream and may be regenerated. The filter/sorbent bed may be designed in any size, covering large industrial process applications or small laboratory gas cleaning needs, including any of the applications listed above. An independent third-party verification study has confirmed that SWAPSOL's Gas Filtration technology can reduce hydrogen sulfide to below 6 parts per billion even in hydrogen, the most difficult gas stream to clean. We are currently working with an outside laboratory to determine the low limit for hydrogen sulfide detection; preliminary data indicates that a concentration below 4ppb can be achieved, meeting proposed EU standards for hydrogen for fuel cells. When spent, the proprietary sorbent may be regenerated, landfilled or used in other industrial processes.


For applications that do not require complete H2S removal, only part of the incoming sour gas may be sweetened. Regeneration of the SWAP sorbent results in sulfur dioxide which may be reacted with the hydrogen sulfide in the bypassed gas. Other optional sulfur dioxide disposal methods are available.

Process Advantages

  • Operates at system pressure and temperature
  • Can easily be added to existing NG systems
  • Small footprint and operating cost
  • Scalable
  • Does not require skilled operators
Hydrogen from Hydrogen Sulfide


Hydrogen sulfide is a toxic nuisance pollutant generally associated with natural gas. More than one-third of the world's natural gas reserves are considered "sour" because they have significant concentrations of hydrogen sulfide. Another significant source of hydrogen sulfide is the refining of crude oil; all sulfur compounds present in crude oil are generally converted to hydrogen sulfide during various refining processes that turn heavy oil into liquid fuels. The prevalent method used to eliminate hydrogen sulfide is the century-old Claus Process, a complex, high temperature process that is expensive to operate. Variants of the original process are still in use today to clean the majority of the world's natural gas and refinery-produced hydrogen sulfide. Unfortunately, the Claus Process has physical limitations and cannot eliminate all of the hydrogen sulfide; additional technology to clean the gas leaving the process, the tail gas, must be used to meet environmental mandates. Claus Process products are sulfur and water, which have very little value compared to hydrogen, a valuable product that might be produced if hydrogen sulfide could be split apart economically. Over the years, refiners have investigated various methods of recovering hydrogen from hydrogen sulfide; these processes are not commercially viable because they require excessive energy to carry out the reaction compared to alternative methods of generating hydrogen from natural gas.


SWAPSOL's Hydrogen Process
SWAPSOL Corp. has developed and is commercializing a suite of energy saving gas treating technologies and sorbents, known broadly as the SWAP. One of the related processes is SWAPSOL's new hydrogen sulfide to hydrogen process. Hydrogen sulfide is sent to a proprietary hydrogen sulfide splitter where it is converted into hydrogen and sulfur. Hydrogen is removed continuously from the splitter through a catalyzed ceramic membrane. The process operates at low pressure and moderate temperatures. The
SWAPSOL hydrogen sulfide splitter consists of readily available components and is easily scaled to varying flow rates. The resulting hydrogen may be used as feedstock for other processes or as fuel; either use has significant added value compared to producing water as a byproduct.

Sour Gas Processing


2H2S + CO2 + CH4 --> 2H2O + Sulfur + Carsuls + CH4

Sour natural gas is fed into a SWAP reactor where the gas is sweetened; CO2 and H2S are converted into water, sulfur and carsuls. The SWAP has been verified to reduce H2S to below 4ppb and convert a proportional quantity of CO2. The SWAP may be ideal for remote sour gas fields and for tail gas cleanup in Claus plants.

Flue & Industrial Gases


H2S + CS2 + COS + O3 + NOx + SOx  -->  H2O + N2 + Sulfur + Carsuls

The SWAP reduces all existing gaseous oxides and other reactive components including NOx, SOx, O3, COS, CS2, CO, H2S, CO2 and mercaptans. Flue gas cleanup may have the single biggest impact on industry and climate change. Refining operations already have sulfur plants and gas streams containing H2S, increasing the feasibility of integrating SWAP technology. Processes requiring additional H2S may generate requisite amounts on-site using the SWAP sulfur cycle, which reacts any waste hydrocarbon with sulfur to form H2S and carsuls.

HC Waste Recycling & H Production


Waste HC + Sulfur --> H2S + Carsuls + Byproducts   |   H2S  -->  H2 + Sulfur

The SWAP enables operators to generate H2S from hydrocarbon waste which would otherwise need to be landfilled. The SWAPSOL sulfur cycle also allows for related reactions that can produce hydrogen from hydrogen sulfide. For refiners this may be a cost-effective solution for hydrogen recovery.

Carsul Utilization


Carsuls + Heat --> Carbon + Sulfur

Utilization of carsuls formed by the destruction of waste hydrocarbons and other SWAP reactions may create entirely new industries, as they may become the building block for many new products, including applications in the electronics, automotive and construction industries.

CO2 Mitigation


2H2S + CO2 --> 2H2O + Sulfur + Carsuls

The SWAP reduces human impact on climate change. The SWAP is not a carbon capture process but a verified CO2 elimination process. The SWAP creates incentives for carbon emitting industries to institute on-site carbon capture programs, making the reactants available for processing rather than sequestration.


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