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Removal Of Sulphur-containing Odorants From Fuel Gases For Fuel Cell-based Combined Heat And Power Applications

P. Wild, R. Nyqvist, F. D. Bruijn, E. Stobbe
Published 2006 · Chemistry

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Natural gas (NG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) are important potential feedstocks for the production of hydrogen for fuel cell-based (e.g. proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) or solid oxide fuel Cells (SOFC) combined heat and power (CHP) applications. To prevent detrimental effects on the (electro)catalysts in fuel cell-based combined heat and power installations (FC-CHP), sulphur removal from the feedstock is mandatory. An experimental bench-marking study of adsorbents has identified several candidates for the removal of sulphur containing odorants at low temperature. Among these adsorbents a new material has been discovered that offers an economically attractive means to remove TetraHydroThiophene (THT), the main European odorant, from natural gas at ambient temperature. The material is environmentally benign, easy to use and possesses good activity (residual sulphur levels below 20 ppbv) and capacity for the common odorant THT in natural gas. When compared to state-of-the-art metal-promoted active carbon the new material has a THT uptake capacity that is up to 10 times larger, depending on temperature and pressure. Promoted versions of the new material have shown potential for the removal of THT at higher temperatures and/or for the removal of other odorants such as mercaptans from natural gas or from LPG.
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