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Adsorption of Sulphur Dioxide and Reduction of Sulphate on Alumina and Alkali-Alumina at High Temperatures


Edelstein, Sergio (1987) Adsorption of Sulphur Dioxide and Reduction of Sulphate on Alumina and Alkali-Alumina at High Temperatures. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/4CFM-WQ54.


Several interrelated problems in connection with the treatment of sulfur dioxide at temperatures between 700 and 800°C were studied. The interaction of SO2 with Al2O3 was studied experimentally using B.E.T., thermogravimetry and temperature-programmed desorption. Adsorption takes place through a wide range of binding energies, with some SO2 adsorbing irreversibly at temperatures below 800°C. The amount adsorbed depends on the surface history and thermal treatment. An adsorption isotherm based on a bimodal energy distribution provides an adequate description of the equilibrium process.

The chemical composition, sulfation and regeneration of an alkali-alumina sorbent for sulfur dioxide were studied using thermogravimetry, gas chromatography, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The active sorbent consists of a thin layer of sodium and lithium aluminates supported on alumina. The rate of sulfation is proportional to the SO2 concentration in the gas, up to [SO2] ≈ 5000 ppm. The activation energy of the sulfation is E = 21.6 kcal/mole. The sulfated sorbent was regenerated by reduction with CO at 700-800°C. Sulfur removal from the sorbent and distribution of gaseous products were measured at different alkali loadings, temperatures and CO concentrations. The reduction takes place in two consecutive stages through a complex reaction network in which the alumina support plays a decisive role, both as a reactant and as a catalyst. A simplified reaction network is used as a basis for a kinetic model that provides an adequate description of the reduction process at moderate sorbent loadings.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Chemical Engineering
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Gavalas, George R.
Thesis Committee:
  • Gavalas, George R. (chair)
  • Seinfeld, John H.
  • Bailey, James E.
  • Morari, Manfred
Defense Date:3 November 1986
Non-Caltech Author Email:sergio (AT)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Union Oil Company FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Josephine de Karman Fellowship TrustUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-05052006-082025
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1626
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:15 May 2006
Last Modified:20 Dec 2019 20:02

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