McGill University Department of Chemistry Analytical/Environmental Chemical Biology Chemical Physics Materials Chemistry Synthesis/Catalysis  
Synthesis/Catalysis Profs.
Arndtsen, Bruce
Auclair, Karine
Bohle, Scott
Butler, Ian
Chan, Tak-Hang
Cosa, Gonzalo
Damha, Masad
Eisenberg, Adi
Farrell, Patrick
Friščić, Tomislav
Gleason, James
Gray, Derek
Guindon, Yvan
Harpp, David
Hay, Allan
Kakkar, Ashok
Lennox, Bruce
Li, C.J.
Lumb, Jean-Philip
Marchessault, Robert
Moitessier, Nicolas
Moores, Audrey
Perepichka, Dima
Shaver, Alan
Sleiman, Hanadi
Tsantrizos, Youla
van de Ven, Theo
Alan Shaver
Alan Shaver

Emeritus Professor
President, Thompson River University

B.Sc. (Carleton University, 1969)
Ph.D. (Massachussetts Institute of Technology, 1972)
NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow (U. Western Ontario, 1972)

Phone: (250)828-5001
Web Page:

Research Themes:

Research Description:
Organic sulfur compounds and H2S contaminate crude oil and sour natural gas, respectively. In order to eliminate acid rain and air pollution, upon combustion of these as fuels, and to eliminate sulfur's poisonous effects on catalysts during refining of crude oil, these contaminates are removed. Crude oil is first hydrogenated to give the sulfur in the form of H2S (hydrodesulfurization). This extremely toxic gas, whether obtained via hydrodesulfurization or from sour gas, is converted to harmless H2O and elemental sulfur via the Claus Process (CP).

The CP is one of the most important pollution abatement processes used in the fossil fuel industry today; however, surprisingly little is known about its mechanism. It combines H2S and SO2 (obtained via partial combustion of the former) over a catalyst (usually alumina) at 300deg (2H2S + SO2 --> 3/8S8 + 2H2O). This heterogeneous reaction must involve sulfur catenation and oxygen transfer, a suite of processes that have no precedents in homogeneous systems.
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