Abstract by Jessica Richards
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Zeolite Thresholds for Renewable Energy
When converting waste products into useable fuel by anaerobic digestion, H2S and CO2 are produced as byproducts. Because H2S and its oxidation product, H2SO4, are corrosive, zeolite is used to absorb the H2S so that engines and burners are not corroded when the biogas is combusted. Currently, we are measuring the zeolite capacity for H2S in the presence of CO2 which competes for binding sites on the zeolite. After the zeolite is saturated, it is baked in an oven at about 200⁰C. We are determining how many times the same zeolite sample can be baked until a constant capacity is reached. This capacity is necessary for designing equipment to use the zeolite on an industrial scale. In commercial application, the zeolite is placed in two “quadcans”. The zeolite in one quadcan absorbs the H2S, while the zeolite in the other quadcan is baked.