In order to further reduce the sulfur content in liquid hydrocarbon fuels (gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel) for producing ultra-clean transportation fuels and for fuel cell applications, we explored a new desulfurization process by selective adsorption for removing sulfur (SARS). An adsorbent was developed and used for adsorption desulfurization of diesel fuel, gasoline and jet fuel at room temperature. The results indicate that the transition metal-based adsorbent developed in this work is effective for selectively adsorbing the sulfur compounds, even the refractory sulfur compounds in diesel fuels. The SARS process can effectively remove sulfur compounds in the liquid hydrocarbon fuels at ambient temperature under atmospheric pressure with low investment and operating cost. On the basis of the present study, a novel integrated process is proposed for deep desulfurization of the liquid hydrocarbon fuels in a future refinery, which combines a selective adsorption (SARS) of the sulfur compounds and a hydrodesulfurization process of the concentrated sulfur fraction (HDSCS). The SARS concept may be used for on-site or on-board removal of sulfur from fuels for fuel cell systems.
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