Abstract The metal-ferrite (chromium-ferrite and zinc-ferrite) sorbents made from the heavy metal wastewater sludge have been developed for the hydrogen sulfide removal from coal gas. The high temperature absorption of hydrogen sulfide from coal gas with the metal-ferrite sorbent in a fixed bed reactor was conducted in this study. The metal-ferrite powders were the products of the ferrite process for the heavy metal wastewater treatment. The porosity analysis results show that the number of micropores of the sorbents after sulfidation and regeneration process decreases and the average pore size increases due to the acute endothermic and exothermic reactions during the sulfidation–regeneration process. The FeS, ZnS, and MnS peaks are observed on the sulfided sorbents, and the chromium extraction of the CFR6 can fulfill the emission standard of Taiwan EPA. The suitable sulfidation temperature range for chromium-ferrite sorbent is at 500–600 °C. In addition, effects of various concentrations of H 2 and CO were also conducted in the present work at different temperatures. By increasing the H 2 concentration, the sulfur sorption capacity of the sorbent decreases and an adverse result is observed in the case of increasing CO concentration. This can be explained via water-shift reaction.