Photocatalytic desulfurization of dibenzothiophene by NiCo<sub>2</sub>O<sub>4</sub> nanospinel obtained by an oxidative precipitation process modeling and optimization

<p>This paper reports for the first time, synthesis of NiCo<sub>2</sub>O<sub>4</sub> nano spinel by green oxidative precipitation and its performance in photocatalytic desulfurization of dibenzothiophene (DBT) from gas oil model at different process conditions under visible light. The as-produced nanostructure was characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared, UV–VIS diffuse reflective spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry and scanning electron microscopy. The experiments for the study of different photocatalytic conditions were designed by response surface methodology and a second-order regression model was developed with a determination coefficient (<i>R</i><sup>2</sup>) of 0.9769. Pareto analysis predicted that the relative importance of process factors for DBT removal is as follows: irradiation time > reaction temperature > photocatalyst dosage > DBT concentration. The promising results for DBT removal were concluded by photo desulfurization over the nano spinel. The study confirmed that nano spinels could be an alternative and cheap photocatalyst for desulfurization from the oil products.</p>