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Exploring the degradation of organosulfur compounds at biocathodes

  • 26 May, 2023
  • 16:00
  • Wageningen University, Environmental Technology
  • prof.dr.ir. C.J.N. Buismandr.ir. A. ter Heijne
  • dr.ir. J.B.M. Klok

Thiols, also known as mercaptans, are organosulfur compounds that must be removed from natural gas and other fuels prior to combustion to avoid the formation of sulfur dioxide. Thiols are toxic and cannot be released into the environment. In this study, we provide a proof of principle for the reduction of thiols towards hydrogen sulfide with a conversion efficiency up to 64% in batch experiments. The produced hydrogen sulfide can be recovered using existing sulfur recovery technologies. Continuous experiments with ethanethiol showed a stable thiol removal efficiency of over 70% for nearly a year. Additional batch exponents were used as model input and demonstrated that diethyl disulfide forms an important intermediate in the degradation of ethanethiol. Based upon the current performance the costs for treating thiols at a biocathode are estimated at 39.3 €/kg-S. The removal of thiols at biocathodes has potential to become a cost-effective, waste-free technology for removing thiols and sulfur recovery.

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Margo Elzinga

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