Characterization of a Microwave Induced Plasma Torch for Thermal Dissociation of H2S into Hydrogen and Sulfur

  • Babajide Ogungbesan

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Hydrogen sulphide a very toxic gas, exists naturally in oil and natural gas reservoirs or occurs as a byproduct of some waste sewage plants. The conventional waste treatment of hydrogen sulphide is based on the Claus process for sulfur recovery. A viable product of sulfur is recovered as a saleable product and hydrogen which could be another product is converted to water. However, a comparatively more economical approach which involves the use of a microwave plasma dissociation processes produces clean sulfur and high purity hydrogen which can be used in the oil refining industries and can also serve as a source of sustainable clean energy. The microwave plasma process has a plethora of advantages for usage in the waste treatment of due to its high conversion efficiency with additional economic benefits. In order to introduce this technology on an industrial scale, a laboratory scale setup of the microwave plasma system is employed and experimentally characterized. This research focuses on the design and characterization of the microwave plasma torch using optical emission spectroscopy in order to determine the suitability of the system for the thermal decomposition process. The results showed that the system can be efficiently utilized for the decomposition of into hydrogen and sulfur, and the plasma is shown to be in local thermodynamic equilibrium. In addition, CHEMKIN-CFD modeling and simulation of the plasma thermal dissociation of in argon within the plasma torch of the experimental setup has been performed to determine the dissociation optimum operating conditions for the highest product yield of hydrogen and sulfur. The numerical predictions are validated by the experimental measurements.
Date of AwardJun 2013
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorMohamed Sassi (Supervisor)


  • Microwave Plasma; Optical Emission Spectroscopy; Metal-Cutting.

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