Separation of Sulfur from Liquid or Vapor

Sulfur occurs widely in nature in the oxidized and reduced forms.

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Potable Water


Sulfur oxides as sulfuric acid, sulfate and sulfite are anions and readily removed with anion exchange resins. For potable water at neutral pH, a high capacity strong base anion exchange resin like AmberLite™ PWA15 Resin is recommended.

This resin may be subject to drinking water application restrictions in some countries. Please check the application status before use and sale. For more information see our regulatory information.




When present as acids, sulfate and sulfite can be removed from wastewater with acid absorber such as AmberLite™ HPR9500 or AmberLite™ HPR9600 Resin.

For pH-neutral wastewater streams, a strong base anion exchanger like AmberSep™ 21K XLT Resin is recommended. Here, the resin will remove all of the anions along with the sulfate and sulfite.

For streams that have a high organic content and are prone to surface fouling, AmberLite™ HPR4811 Cl Resin or AmberLite™ IRA458 Cl Resin is recommended.


Selective Sulfate Removal from Brine


Selective removal of sulfate from brine has been described using a metal hydroxide loaded ion exchange resin.1, 2, 3

This approach is particularly valuable in high salt streams like brines. DuPont recommends a catalyst, AmberLyst™ 15 Catalyst, for this application.


Hydrogen Sulfide Removal


The reduced form of sulfur, H2S, acts as a weak acid so it can be captured from water or air with a weak base anion resin such as AmberLite™ HPR9500 or AmberLite™ HPR9600 Resin.


Mercaptan Removal


Mercaptans are organo-sulfur compounds that are typically not charged. These compounds can be captured by an adsorption mechanism with AmberSorb™ L493 Polymeric Adsorbent Resin for liquid streams or AmberSorb™ V493 Polymeric Adsorbent Resin for vapor streams.


Sulfate Removal from Injection Water in Offshore Oil Production


Barium (Ba) and strontium (Sr) minerals, often present in sub-sea reservoirs, will precipitate with sulfate ions introduced via seawater injection and reduce formation permeability and potentially scale piping, so it is critical to remove sulfate prior to injection. FilmTec™ SR90 Nanofiltration Elements are an excellent choice to selectively separate sulfate ion from seawater to protect valuable hydrocarbon reservoirs. As an additional benefit, this treatment helps prevent souring.




  1. US Patent 4,415,677 – "Removal of sulfate ions from brine using composite of polymeric zirconium hydrous oxide in macroporous matrix" Lee, John M.; Bauman, William C. Assignee: The Dow Chemical Company (1983)
  2. US Patent 4,415,678 – "Removal of sulfate ions from brine using amorphous polymeric zirconium oxide formed within a macroporous polymer matrix" Lee, John M.; Bauman, William C. Assignee: The Dow Chemical Company (1983).
  3. "Method of purification of salt solution for electrolysis" by Oohara, C.; Matsuoka, T.; Kishi, T.; Okuno, T. of Chlorine Engineers Corp., Ltd. European Patent Application EP 0 987 221 A1 (1999).