Chemical Engineering & Technology, Vol.33, No.2, 275-280, 2010
Sulfur Removal from Low-Sulfur Gasoline and Diesel Fuel by Metal-Organic Frameworks
Several materials in the class of metal-organic frameworks (MOF) were investigated to determine their sorption characteristics for Sulfur compounds from fuels. The materials were tested using different model oils and common fuels such as low-sulfur gasoline or diesel fuel at room temperature and ambient pressure. Thiophene and tetrahydrothiophene (THT) were chosen as model substances. Total-sulfur concentrations in the model oils ranged from 30 mg/kg (S from thiophene) to 9 mg/kg (S from tetrahydrothiophene) as determined by elementary analysis. Initial sulfur contents of 8 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg were identified for low-sulfur gasoline and for diesel fuel, respectively, by analysis of the common liquid fuels. Most of the MOF materials examined were not suitable for use as sulfur adsorbers. However, a high efficiency for sulfur removal from fuels and model oils was noticed for a special copper-containing MOF (copper benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxylate, Cu-BTC-MOF). By use of this material, 78 wt % of the sulfur content was removed from thiophene containing model oils and an even higher decrease of up to 86 wt % was obtained for THT-based model oils. Moreover, the sulfur content of low-sulfur gasoline was reduced to 6.5 mg/kg, which represented a decrease of more than 22 %. The sulfur level in diesel fuel was reduced by an extent of 13 wt %. Time-resolved measurements demonstrated that the sulfur-sorption mainly occurs in the first 60 min after contact with the adsorbent, so that the total time span of the desulfurization process can be limited to 1 h. Therefore, this material seems to be highly suitable for sulfur reduction in commercial fuels in order to meet regulatory requirements and demands for automotive exhaust catalysis-systems or exhaust gas sensors.
Keywords:Desulfurization;Diesel;Exhaust Gas aftertreatment;Metal-organic framework;Sorption characteristics;Sulfur removal