Oxidative Extractive Desulfurization System for Fuel Oil Using Acidic Eutectic-Based Ionic Liquid


The biggest challenge faced in oil refineries is the removal of sulfur compounds in fuel oil. The sulfur compounds which are found in fuel oil such as gasoline and diesel, react with oxygen in the atmosphere to produce sulfur oxide (SOx) gases when combusted. These sulfur compounds produced from the reaction with oxygen in the atmosphere may result in various health problems and environmental effects. Hydrodesulfurization (HDS) is the conventional process used to remove sulfur compounds from fuel oil. However, the high operating conditions required for this process and its inefficiency in removing the organosulfur compounds turn to be the major drawbacks of this system. Researchers have also studied several alternatives to remove sulfur from fuel oil. The use of ionic liquids (ILs) has also drawn the interest of researchers to incorporate them in the desulfurization process. The environmental effects resulting from the use of these ILs can be eliminated using eutectic-based ionic liquids (EILs), which are known as greener solvents. In this research, a combination of extractive desulfurization (EDS) and oxidative desulfurization (ODS) using a photocatalyst and EIL was studied. The photocatalyst used is a pre-reported catalyst, Cu-Fe/TiO2 and the EIL were synthesized by mixing choline chloride (ChCl) with organic acids. The acids used for the EILs were propionic acid (PA) and p-toluenesulfonic acid (TSA). The EILs synthesized were characterized using thermogravimetry analyser (TGA) differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis to determine the physical properties of the EILs. Based on the TGA analysis, ChCl (1): PA (3) obtained the highest thermal stability whereas, as for the DSC analysis, all synthesized EILs have a lower melting point than its pure component. Further evaluation on the best EIL for the desulfurization process was carried out in a photo-reactor under UV light in the presence of Cu-Fe/TiO2 photocatalyst and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Once the oxidation and extraction process were completed, the oil phase of the mixture was analyzed using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to measure the sulfur removal efficiency. In terms of the desulfurization efficiency, the EIL of ChCl (1): TSA (2) showed a removal efficiency of about 99.07%.

Funding source: YUTP, grant numbers 015LCO-047 and 015LCO-283.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Indonesia ; Malaysia

Article metrics loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error