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Model 4660 H2S in Natural Gas

Since H2S levels in sales gas are controlled by strict governmental and customer specifications, failure to meet these requirements can have severe economic consequences. For example, high levels may cause an offshore production platform to shut down, or poison a catalyst in a downstream process. At the same time, reducing the H2S level excessively, in order to provide a safety margin, drastically increases the operating costs of the removal / recovery operation. Analyzer reliability and accuracy are critical.


Although H2S absorbs in the UV portion of the spectrum, it is not a strong absorber. This means that it is only suitable for direct measurement at high (percent) levels. At the low ppm levels encountered in sales gases, steps must be taken to increase the effective sensitivity such as operating the sample cell at high pressure. However, there are many other compounds which also absorb in the same UV region which would therefore interfere and cause inaccurate measurement. AMETEK decided that a more specific indirect measurement would best suit your needs for accuracy and reliability. A method was developed based on our years of experience in system design which does not have the maintenance requirements of paper tapes, does not use expensive reagents, and does not attempt to remove interfering components from the sample stream.


This simple method blends a small flow of commercial grade ammonia with water, and then mixes it with the sample gas in a small counter-current flow reactor. Any H2S reacts with the ammonium hydroxide to form ammonium sulfide in water which is measured by a photometric analyzer. Since total conversion is achieved, the method is accurate, highly sensitive, and virtually H2S specific. Periodically, the reactor is bypassed and the analyzer automatically adjusts the output to zero if necessary. This, coupled with careful system design, results in very high reliability.


The AMETEK unique, split beam, single cell UV analyzer is highly stable and essentially drift free. This means that complications of automatic gain and lamp current controls are eliminated. The use of high energy metallic vapor emission lines gives higher accuracy, linearity, and dynamic range than broad-band source and interference filter systems. The rugged analyzer does not use a photomultiplier detector with high voltage power requirements, has no moving parts, and has a wide tolerance of ambient conditions negating the need for air conditioning. 


Lower plant operation costs through:

  • Ability to operate close to the specification limit, avoiding expensive product "giveaways", at the same time minimizing energy consumption in the amine regenerator
Lower maintenance costs through:

  • No saturator to maintain
  • No paper tape to store and replace
  • No lead compound impregnated tape disposal
  • No out-of-service period due to overload saturation
  • No air purging required for hazardous areas
  • No dilution required for higher ranges
Lower installation costs through:

  • No need for an analyzer house
  • No need for an air-conditioned enclosure
  • No need for an enclosure ambient H2S monitor

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