Desulfurization of Biomass Syngas Using ZnO-Based Adsorbents: Long-Term Hydrogen Sulfide Breakthrough Experiments

Christian Frilund (Corresponding Author), Pekka Simell, Noora Kaisalo, Esa Kurkela, Mari Leena Koskinen-Soivi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Dry-bed adsorptive desulfurization of biomass-based syngas with low to medium sulfur content using ZnO was investigated as an alternative to the conventional wet scrubbing processes. The technical feasibility of ZnO-based desulfurization was studied in laboratory-scale H2S breakthrough experiments. The experiments were set up to utilize realistic H2S concentrations from gasification and therefore long breakthrough times. Experiments were performed in a steam-rich model biosyngas in varying conditions. The long-term breakthrough experiments showed apparent ZnO utilization rates between 10 and 50% in the tested conditions, indicating intraparticle mass-transfer resistances partly due to space velocity and particle size constraints as well as the most likely product-layer resistances as evidenced by the large spent adsorbent surface area decrease. An empirical deactivation model to estimate full breakthrough curves was fitted to the laboratory-scale experimental data. Breakthrough experiment in tar-rich syngas was also performed with the conclusion that ZnO performance is not significantly affected by hydrocarbons despite carbon deposition on the particle surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3316-3325
JournalEnergy & Fuels
Issue number3
Early online date24 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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