Gas Scrubbing with Hydrogen Peroxide

Control of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) odor air emissions are a critical part of the design and operation of many industrial operations, including chemical and paper manufacturing, oil refining, and solid waste landfills to name only a few. Hydrogen peroxide has been shown to be a cost effective and environmentally friendly part of H2S odor gas scrubbing technologies.

Scrubbing Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) with Hydrogen Peroxide


A typical scrubbing solution consists of dilute sodium hydroxide to which enough hydrogen peroxide is added to react with the hydrogen sulfide according to the equation:

4H2O2 + H2S H2SO4 + 4H2O

The equation shows, that 4 parts of hydrogen peroxide by weight are needed for each part of H2S present in the gas to be scrubbed. Enough sodium hydroxide must be present to neutralize the sulfuric acid formed according to the equation:

2NaOH + H2SO4 Na2SO4 + 2H2O

This indicates that for each weight part of hydrogen sulfide, approximately 2-1/2 weight parts of sodium hydroxide are needed.


The simplest and most reliable type of scrubber for this purpose is a packed-bed tower operated counter-currently; the gas is moved upwards and liquid flows downward.

For all the equipment, alkali and hydrogen peroxide resistant materials of construction must be used, i.e., 316 stainless steel, ceramic, glass. For service below boiling point of water, polypropylene is acceptable.


Approximate size and performance parameters for such a tower are shown here. The example describes a scrubber which can handle a gas flow of 50 m3/min (1800 cu ft/min). Several choices of tower diameter and height combinations are given in the table. The packing chosen is 1" Intalox saddles (Norton Company). Two sets of values are given: One for removal of H2S originally present in an amount of 200 ppm, the other for treatment of gas originally containing 20 ppm H2S.

Diameter of ColumnLiquid FlowHeight of Column and Minimum Blower HP
200 ppm H2S20 ppm H2S

The hydrogen peroxide consumption for gas containing 200 ppm H2S will be 56 g/min (7.5 lbs/hour) calculated as 100% material. The consumption of NaOH will be 35 g/min (4.5 lbs/hour).

For other gas flow rates the height of packing will remain the same. The column diameter will change proportionally to the square root of the gas flow. The liquid flow and needed HP for blowers will change in direct proportion to the gas flow. It should be noted, that the HP values refer to what is needed to overcome scrubber pressure drop when the blower is working at maximum efficiency.

The controls necessary for the most effective and efficient operation are a pH controller to keep the liquid at the bottom of the column at a pH of 9 or higher. A sulfide monitor is desirable to make certain that the effluent is free from sulfide, an indication that enough hydrogen peroxide has been added to complete the oxidation. Although a continuous potentiometric monitor (i.e., Orion 1000) is preferred, periodic tests with field kits (i.e., Hach kits or Drager tubes) may be used.

---Taken in part from FMC Technical Data, Pollution Control Release No. 8

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