Conversion of SO2 into Elemental Sulfur by Using the RF Plasma Technique

Cheng Hsien Tsai, Wen Jhy Lee, Minliang Shih, Chuh Yung Chen, Perng Jy Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study demonstrates a new approach for converting SO2 into elemental sulfur by adding CH4 in a radio-frequency (RF) plasma reactor. With the applied power (P) of the RF reactor specified at 90 W and operating pressure set at 4000 N/m2, it was found that as the CH 4/SO2 ratio (R) was increased from 0.3 to 1.0, most sulfur-containing products were in the form of elemental sulfur. While R was increased from 1 to 2, the content of elemental sulfur was decreased significantly, but CS2 was increased dramatically. While R was increased from 2 to 3, both elemental sulfur and CS2 contents became quite comparable. Nevertheless, it was found that both H2 and CO (that is, syngas) were the main nonsulfur-containing products under all testing conditions. These results indicate that the use of the RF plasma technique was not only beneficial to convert SO2, but also was able to convert CH4 into useful materials. For R = 0 (that is, no CH4 was introduced), it was found that the SO2 conversion (ie., ηSO 2) = 0.084, indicating that the RF plasma process was inadequate to convert pure SO2 without adding CH4 as a reducing agent. While R was increased to 2, it was found that ηSO2 was improved significantly to 0.968 accompanied with ηCH4 = 0.999. But as R was increased from 2 to 3, both ηSO2 and ηCH4 were slightly decreased. Both ηSO2 and ηCH4 also were sensitive to the applied power (P). As P was increased from 15 W to 90 W at R = 2, it was found that both ηSO2 and ηCH4 were increased dramatically from 0.247 and 0.320 to 0.968 and 0.999, respectively. But as P was increased from 90 W to 120 W, the increase on both ηSO2 and ηCH4 became very limited. Based on these, this study suggests that the operating condition of R = 2 and P = 90 W would be the most appropriate combination for SO2 conversion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-529
Number of pages6
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Feb 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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