Electrochemical desulfurization of waste gases in a batch reactor

Un U. T., Koparal A. S., Ogutveren U. B.

JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING-ASCE, vol.133, no.1, pp.13-19, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


To meet the increasing need for reduction of exhaust emissions from stationary sources, many technologies have been developed to remove SO2 from flue gas. In this study the anodic oxidation of sulfur dioxide in aqueous solutions of sulfuric acid with a unique reactor design and electrode configuration has been investigated. An electrochemical absorption column larger than laboratory scale was employed. A titanium rod cathode and platinum expanded mesh anode separated by a cation exchange membrane were used as electrodes in the cylindrical electrochemical reactor. The effects of current densities of 10, 1, and 0.1 Am-2, initial SO2 concentrations of 500, 2,500, and 5,000 ppm, gas flow rates of 0.75, 1.5, and 5 L min(-1), sulfuric acid concentrations of 1, 5, and 10 % (w), gas composition, and electrolysis time on removal efficiency, current efficiency, energy consumption, and mass transfer coefficient were reported. Removal efficiency of 94% was obtained with a high current efficiency of 94%, energy consumption of 2.22 x 10(-2) kW hm(-3), and mass transfer coefficient of 5.9 x 10(-5) ms(-1) without additives or pretreatment. At the current densities of 0.1, 1, and 10 Am-2, the removal efficiencies were 10, 94, and 98%, respectively. Removal efficiency was observed to decrease as inlet SO2 concentration, gas flow rate, and electrolyte concentration increased. The presence of CO2 in the gas mixture led to a decrease in the SO2 removal efficiency. During electrochemical absorption of SO2 into the H2SO4 solution, the concentration of acid is increased from 5 to 10%. At the end of the studies, electrochemical desulfurization succeeded in meeting the regulation requirement, and the absorbing liquid remained in a reusable form.