oa South African Journal of Chemical Engineering - Production of synthetic gas from liquid hydrocarbons and high temperature desulphurization using zinc oxide for Fischer-Tropsch process

Volume 19, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1026-9185



In this study, a laboratory scale unit was used to produce and clean synthetic gas (syngas) containing 1.0-2.0 mole % HS from a liquid hydrocarbon fuel consisting of 86% methanol, 14% 2-propanethiol, and oxygen gas as the oxidant. Experiments were performed to determine whether the use of the liquid hydrocarbon mixture as fuel in the laboratory could actually produce HS containing syngas with a H:CO ratio of 2:1. Desulphurization experiments were done by varying reaction temperatures (350°C and 550°C) and sorbent particle sizes (1.18-1.70 mm and 1.70-2.00 mm) at atmospheric pressure using sorbent with varying surface areas (5 m2/g and just above 22 m2/g) at a constant gas hourly space velocity of 655 h-1. Gas chromatography (GC) analysis specific to sulphur compound detection showed consistent production of HS during gasification. In addition to this the composition of the produced syngas was validated through a GC fitted with a thermal conductivity detector (TCD) and there was good agreement giving the expected ratio of 1.97:1 of H and CO. Small particle size sorbent had the highest sulphur absorption capacity with retention times of 340 min at 350°C and 285 min at 550°C using 5 m2/g sorbent surface area.

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