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Light-Enhanced Oxidative Adsorption Desulfurization of Diesel Fuel over TiO2–ZrO2 Mixed Oxides

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-10-19, 19:51 authored by Sukanya Thepwatee, Chunshan Song
This study explored a new method for the adsorptive desulfurization of liquid hydrocarbon fuels called “light-enhanced oxidative adsorption desulfurization (LEOADS)”, which combines the photo-oxidation of aromatic sulfur compounds with the adsorption of oxidized-sulfur compounds over an adsorbent. The LEOADS of dibenzothiophene in real diesel fuel (DBT/diesel) was conducted in a batch system under UV–vis irradiation at ambient conditions using air as an oxidant. The desulfurization performance of DBT decreased in the order of TiO2–ZrO2 ≫ TiO2-CeO2 > TiO2 ≈ ZrO2. Introducing simultaneous light irradiation together with an adsorption process using TiO2–ZrO2 can dramatically improve the sulfur uptake by 9-fold (5.2 mg-S/g-A) compared to one-step adsorptive desulfurization (0.6 mg-S/g-A) and by 1.4-fold compared to two-step photo-oxidative desulfurization (3.8 mg-S/g-A). Light and TiO2–ZrO2 play important roles in the LEOADS: Light enhanced peroxide generation and the TiO2–ZrO2 promoted the oxidation of DBT to DBTO2 with the in situ generated peroxide. X-ray diffraction, UV–vis spectroscopy, N2-adsorption desorption, and scanning electron microscopy techniques were used for the characterization of the materials.