Kinetics of two pathways for 4,6-dimethyldibenzothiophene hydrodesulfurization over NiMo, CoMo sulfide, and nickel phosphide catalysts

Jae Hyung Kim, Xiaoliang Ma, Chunshan Song, Yong Kul Lee, S. Ted Oyama

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The kinetics for the initial stage of the hydrodesulfurization (HDS) of 4,6-dimethyldibenzothiophene (4,6-DMDBT) and dibenzothiophene (DBT) were comparatively examined over NiMo and CoMo sulfide catalysts and newly developed nickel phosphide catalysts. The HDS can proceed through an indirect hydrogenation (HYD) pathway and a direct desulfurization (DDS, or hydrogenolysis) pathway. The rate constants for the HYD and DDS pathways (k1 and k2, respectively) were estimated using a method that involved extrapolation to zero conversion for the initial selectivity ratio of primary products. The overall rate constants (k1 + k2) for 4,6-DMDBT on a catalyst weight basis (in units of 10-5 s-1 at 573 K under a pressure of 20.4 atm increased in the order of CoMo sulfide (34.1) < Ni2P/USY (51.5) < Ni2P/SiO2 (66.4) < NiMo sulfide (83.2); however, the values based on active sites (in units of s-1 active site -1) ranked in a different order (CoMo sulfide (4.0) < NiMo sulfide (8.8) < Ni2P/USY (15.2) < Ni2P/SiO2 (23.7)). The rate constants for the HYD pathway of 4,6-DMDBT HDS at 573 K based on active sites were strongly dependent on the type of catalyst used; however, those for the DDS pathway were less sensitive to the type of catalyst, as can be observed from the corresponding values (k1; k2) for CoMo sulfide (2.2; 1.8), NiMo sulfide (6.7; 2.1), Ni2P/USY (12.7; 2.5), and Ni2P/SiO2 (21.6; 2.1). The NiMo sulfide catalyst, which favored the HYD pathway, was more active than the CoMo sulfide catalyst for 4,6-DMDBT. The nickel phosphide catalysts showed higher activity in 4,6-DMDBT HDS than the sulfide catalysts, based on rate constants normalized to active sites; they operated through the HYD pathway. A comparison with DBT HDS at 573 K under a hydrogen (H2) pressure of 20.4 atm showed that the presence of the methyl groups at the 4- and 6-positions dramatically inhibited the DDS pathway, because of steric hindrance around the S atom, and thus made the HYD pathway more important. Higher H2 pressure further enhanced the HYD pathway, whereas increased temperature increased the contribution of the DDS pathway for 4,6-DMDBT HDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-364
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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