To remove hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and mercaptans from natural gas streams at low- or highpressure conditions at or near the well head.
Iron sponge (iron oxidized onto wood shavings) uses a simple packed tower (3) on a flow-through support (4). After liquid separation (1), the deflected (2) sour gas flows down to contact with the reactive iron oxide, simply and effectively converting H2S into a solid. The iron sulfide stays in the packed tower, effectively removing it from the gas stream. Iron sponge also removes mercaptans, the malodorous sulfur compounds found in some gas, producing a deodorized, sweet gas.
For iron sponge to effectively perform, it must be maintained within a range of water levels. This requirement is usually satisfied if the gas is saturated with water vapor, as is frequently the case. If it is not the case, a simple water spray will correct it. An excess of water is tolerated very well by iron sponge as long as the excess is drained off (5), so as not to flood the bed. Because the reaction of iron oxide with H2S produces a small quantity of water, monitoring the drip water volume is an effective method of confirming the presence of sufficient moisture. Since the iron oxide is impregnated onto the wood, it will not wash off or migrate with the gas.
Operating conditions: The process should be located as close to the source of gas as possible, to eliminate as many corrosion problems as possible caused by the H2S. The process should be used after a gas/liquid separator and before the dehydration process. The maximum temperature should not exceed 120°F, and the minimum of 50°F, or whatever is necessary to avoid hydrate formation for the system pressure and composition of the gas.
The gas purification is not pressure sensitive, and is not affected by other gas constituents. Carbon dioxide levels are not a problem for treatment, but liquid hydrocarbons should be removed before the IRON SPONGE process.
Since the process is so simple, minimum operator time is required. It runs unattended for days at a time.
Manufactured and supplied by: Connelly-GPM, Inc.