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Comment Processing & Handling

Removing H2S from crude petroleum on-site

By Scott Jenkins |

Hydrogen sulfide occurs naturally in petroleum reservoirs, but must be removed from crude oil prior to transportation from drilling sites to storage tanks at petroleum refineries. H2S is corrosive to storage tanks, pipelines and railcars, and without proper treatment, can generate flammable and dangerous vapors.

RevEnergy (Aberdeen, S.D.; www.revenergy.com) recently introduced a novel modular technology for removing H2S from crude oil at the petroleum source to levels lower than 4 ppm by weight (ppmw), well below the industry-accepted standard for crude oil transport (10 ppmw H2S). The technology results from a collaboration with Aecom (Los Angeles, Calif.; www.aecom.com).

The technology, known as RevH2S, is a patent-pending, closed-loop unit that strips H2S from crude petroleum using an inert gas. The identity of the inert gas is a trade secret, but Jason Groves, RevEnergy CEO, says it does not react with any components of the crude petroleum or change any properties of the oil, beyond removing H2S.

After introducing the inert gas into the crude petroleum, the H2S is captured along with the inert gas and treated to separate the H2S. The contaminant gas is then converted to a much safer waste product for disposal.

“The RevH2S system is contained in a mobile unit that is placed near the crude petroleum source for treatment at the site,” says Groves. “It is designed to treat crude petroleum with H2S contents up to 300 ppmw in a single pass, but can remove higher levels by treating with multiple passes.” Further, he notes that it does not result in any volume loss, leave any chemicals behind, or require a Title V permit.

Designed to remove H2S and some light mercaptans, RevH2S does not affect other organic sulfur compounds in the crude petroleum.

RevEnergy launched the technology as a commercial service last month, and is working to secure an initial installation agreement.

 

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