Hydrogen sulfide

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) monitoring of liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas

Hydrogen sulfide content must be controlled to comply with the transportation regulations of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

Natural gas extracted from unconventional wells through hydraulic fracturing operations has become relevant over the last two decades. One of the issues facing the exploration and production of natural gas is the high H2S content of shale gas reservoirs achieving concentrations up to hundreds of parts per million.

Natural gas, with high H2S levels surpassing the 4ppmv (also known as sour gas), should not be burned because of its high toxicity risks to human health and the environment. Combustion of sulfur-containing compounds become air pollutants and ultimately may form acid rain when combined with water. Moreover, natural gas processors should direct efforts reducing acid gases and sulfur compounds from natural gas to the lowest possible levels to comply with emission regulations and safety protocols for workers, while keeping the processes economically sustainable and viable.

In addition, sour natural gas can produce corrosion of pipelines during transport given the caustic nature of hydrogen sulfide which may react with the iron of the stainless-steel ducts in contact with the natural gas. Accumulation of resulting undesirable salts at the pipeline surface may create pressure changes and potentially fatal leaks or even explosions if ignited.

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