Desulfurization of AL-Ahdab Crude Oil using Oxidative Processes


Two different oxidative desulfurization strategies based on oxidation/adsorption or oxidation/extraction were evaluated for the desulfurization of AL-Ahdab (AHD) sour crude oil (3.9wt% sulfur content). In the oxidation process, a homogenous oxidizing agent comprising of hydrogen peroxide and formic acid was used. Activated carbons were used as sorbent/catalyst in the oxidation/adsorption process while acetonitrile was used as an extraction solvent in the oxidation/extraction process. For the oxidation/adsorption scheme, the experimental results indicated that the oxidation desulfurization efficiency was enhanced on using activated carbon as catalyst/sorbent. The effects of the operating conditions (contact time, temperature, mixing speed and sorbent dose) on the desulfurization efficiency were examined. The desulfurization efficiency measured at the best operating conditions(optimum conditions): 60 , 500rpm, 60min contact time and sorbent dose of 0.7g AC/100 ml AHD crude, was 32.8% corresponding to a sulfur content of 2.6 wt%. Applying the same optimum operating conditions and at 3:1 solvent/oil ratio, the oxidation/extraction method gave comparable desulfurization efficiency of 31.5%.