Why H2S Removal is Critical in the Oil and Gas Industry

Among the most serious and costly problems for the oil and gas industry is hydrogen sulfide (H2S) emission. This highly toxic and problematic gas not only has a foul odor, but in certain conditions, it produces sulfuric acid that is highly corrosive to metal and mission critical electronics. H2S also poses a serious safety risk for people working or living in affected areas and can lead to significant asset losses in the oil and gas industry.

The corrosive nature of H2S is a problem that requires immediate action. Hydrogen sulfide exposure in the oil and gas industry can cause widespread illness and equipment damage if not effectively managed. Corrosion from H2S can also damage process control and communications, and lead to:

  • Production Losses
  • Plant Interruptions
  • Accidents
  • Costly Component Replacement
  • Unscheduled Downtime

Hydrogen Sulfide 2nd Leading Cause of Inhalation Deaths

Exposure to H2S can result in serious short term and long term effects, including nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, respiratory paralysis, rapid unconsciousness, coma, and in extreme cases, even death. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, H2S was the second leading cause of inhalation deaths in the United States between 2011 and 2017.

Hydrogen Sulfide Puts Mission Critical Electronics At Risk

Since hydrogen sulfide is 19% heavier than air, it collects in low-lying and confined spaces. Some common areas where hydrogen sulfide accumulates in oil and gas facilities:

  • Shale shaker area
  • Circulation fluid treatment area
  • During tripping procedure
  • Wellhead
  • Cellar
  • Drilling floor

H2S corrosion can develop on all upstream steel components that are exposed to H2S, including transport pipelines, well tubing, flowlines, and processing equipment. Other areas of the facility that may be at risk for H2S corrosion include:

  • Motor Control Centers (MCC)
  • Drive Rooms
  • Operator Control Rooms
  • Rack Rooms
  • Laboratories
  • Administrative Buildings

PureAir Offers H2S Environmental Testing for Oil and Gas Facilities

Air quality testing is used to identify corrosion problems within the facility that can cause damage, unplanned downtime, and costly repairs. This environmental testing determines the types of corrosive contaminants with estimated concentrations. It also identifies “hot spots” within a facility and provides baseline data for corrosion control solutions that allow customers to evaluate and maintain peak system performance.

The PureAir Corrosivity Test Kit includes a strip of silver and copper, which is hung in the applicable room for 30 days. After 30 days, the used test kit should be placed in a sealed plastic bag and sent back to PureAir for analysis. The lab analysis determines which type of gas caused the corrosion, and in what quantities according to ISA ANSI 71.04-2013 standard. The PureAir team will assess the analysis and recommend a solution to solve corrosion issues.

For continuous monitoring, PureAir’s Environment Corrosivity Monitor (ECMv2) offers live, accurate results of environment surveillance and detection of corrosion to copper and silver. The innovative tool provides benefits of constant environment surveillance.

PureAir Filtration Delivers Powerful H2S Control

When designing a system to remove toxic or unwanted gases from the environment, the PureAir experts consider:

  • Type and level of contaminants
  • Temperatures​ and humidity​
  • Volume and frequency of airflow​ (Room Size)
  • Building construction and controlled spaces​ (Condition)
  • Pressurization ​vs recirculation ​
  • Space restrictions​
  • People flow​
  • Particulate filtration that may be needed at inlet or outlet​
  • Continuous monitoring of air quality and environmental conditions

Based on our expert analysis, we will recommend the right system and chemisorbant media solution. Equipment options include:

Side Access Housing (SAH)

PureAir Filtration’s Side Access Housing (SAH) system is a horizontal airflow filtration and purification cell system. It continuously delivers high efficiency air purification for low to contaminated air streams ranging in volume from 500 to 32,000 CFM and is configured with refillable or disposable media cartridges.

V-Bank Transition System (VTS)

PureAir Filtration’s V-Bank Transition System (VTS) is an entirely self-contained, vertical airflow unit. This deep bed system features a compact, flexible design and delivers continuous high efficiency air purification for contaminated air streams ranging in volume from 6,000 to 40,000 CFM.

Biological Engineered Adsorbent Scrubber Technology (BEAST™)

PureAir Filtration delivers dependable H2S control with the BEAST™ biological multistage scrubber, the most powerful odor control solution on the market. Designed for applications with very high levels of constant H2S (300+ PPM average), the BEAST™ is filled with Sulphasorb Si™ biomedium. The system can handle H2S concentrations of 200+ ppm, and the various models can be configured to airflows between 250 and 8,000 CFM.

Saudi Aramco and the Kuwait National Petroleum Company: A Case Study

H2S solution in Saudi ArabiaAn oil refinery spanning the border of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, AL-Khafji Joint Operations (KJO), called upon PureAir Filtration for assistance in determining the best way to deal with extremely high levels of H2S. This project was a collaborative effort between Saudi Aramco and the Kuwait National Petroleum Company, producers of a high volume of petroleum. They needed a solution that would protect their employees in the case of an accidental toxic gas release and safeguard their sensitive electronics from corrosion, as well as prevent unnecessary downtime and expensive repairs.

After accessing the situation, PureAir determined two separate systems were needed to resolve both of their problems. Our team selected:

  • Side Access Housing (SAH) units
  • Bank Transition Systems (VTS) units

Six of our SAH units were installed in different areas throughout the refinery to protect their mission critical electronics from the corrosive gasses onsite. To keep the facilities safe for employees, five VTS units filled with PureAir 12 and Sulphasorb Fe™ chemisorbant media were also installed throughout the refinery. The media selected is specifically designed to limit corrosive gases in the environment.

Following the installation of the PureAir Filtration equipment and media, H2S levels are reported to be undetectable.

Ready to learn more? Contact us to discuss your project.


PureAir Filtration is the world leader in the removal of gases, toxic vapors, and odors. Visit this page for the latest company news as well as articles on our favorite topics!

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