Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol.58, No.42, 19322-19352, 2019
Desulfurization of Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels with Microporous and Mesoporous Materials: Metal-Organic Frameworks, Zeolites, and Mesoporous Silicas
This review discusses potential microporous and mesoporous materials that can address the issue of sulfur reduction via adsorptive desulfurization (ADS) with a focus on liquid fuels. During the transition to cleaner energy sources in the face of climate change, liquid fossil fuels will likely continue to provide a significant share of the world's energy demand. Fossil fuels possess a substantial amount of deleterious sulfur compounds that reduce the efficiency of energy production, damage the environment, and harm human health. There has recently been a large push to address these challenges that sulfur presents. ADS is one of the most promising techniques to reduce the sulfur content of liquid fuels in a cost-effective manner. The three key materials that have attracted a great deal of attention for their application in ADS are metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), zeolites, and mesoporous silicas. These materials have emerged as potential candidates for ADS because of their high surface area, tunable structure, and advantageous porosity. Research interest has been generated around finding unique approaches to modify these materials that increase their selectivity, stability, adsorption capacity, and reusability. A deeper mechanistic understanding of the adsorption of various sulfur compounds on these novel materials has been pursued experimentally and with the aid of models. This review seeks to discuss the recent advances made surrounding the most promising ADS materials while providing an outlook on where advancements still need to be made.