Selective Removal of Non-basic Nitrogen Compounds from Heavy Gas Oil Using Functionalized Polymers
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The inhibiting and deactivating effects of basic nitrogen species present in gas oils on catalyst active sites has been well recognized over the years; however, recent studies have shown comparable inhibiting and deactivating effects exhibited by non-basic nitrogen species. A novel pre-treatment technique employing the heterogeneously cross-linked macroporous polymer poly(glycidyl methacrylate) (PGMA) as the hydrophilic support coupled with organic compound tetranitrofluorenone has shown promising results for the selective elimination of non-basic nitrogen heterocyclic species from bitumen derived heavy gas oil (HGO). Characterization techniques such as Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), low temperature N2 adsorption–desorption (BET), CHNOS elemental analysis, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), epoxy content titration, and thermo gravimetry/differential thermal analyzer (TG/DTA) were employed for determining the optimum parameters during each step of the polymer synthesis. Step 1 comprised of direct polymerization of the monomers under the determined optimum conditions, with specific surface area of 34.7 m2/g and epoxy content of 5.8 wt% for the PGMA polymer support. Step 2 comprised of substitution of the epoxy ring with the acetone oxime functionality; FT-IR results indicated characteristics peaks at 1650 cm-1 which ascertained the presence of acetone oxime on the polymer, with epoxy content titration indicating a decrease of up to 33% of the epoxy content due to the substitution. Coupling of the organic compound tetranitrofluorenone with the polymer was performed in the final step, with TGA and DTG results indicating highest weight loss of approximately 126.9 μg, which signified that sample T had the greatest amount of organic compound present in comparison to the other samples (sample N to Sample S). The optimized polymer (sample T) was capable of removing nitrogen up to 6.7%, while having little to no influence on the sulphur or aromatic species. These results were in agreement with step 4 TGA analysis that showed sample T had the highest presence of the organic compound. Reusability of the polymer multiple times with consistent removal is another known advantage of such a pre-treatment technique; hence reusability studies were performed, and showed that the polymer was indeed capable of multiple uses, with consistent removal of nitrogen compounds at approximately 6.5% from fresh heavy gas oil feedstocks. Kinetic studies were performed as the final phase in order to evaluate the performance of the treated HGO in comparison to non-treated HGO. The effect of parameters such as temperature and LHSV were determined, with higher temperatures resulting in higher conversion of HDS and HDN. Similarly, as the LHSV was decreased, the conversions were increased for both HDS and HDN due to longer contact time between the feed and the catalyst. The highest obtained conversions were at an LHSV of 0.5 hr-1 and temperature of 395°C with treated HGO having HDS of 97.5% and HDN of 90.3%; while non-treated HGO having HDS of 94.9% and HDN of 78.3%. Employing the power law model, the results indicated that for treated HGO the reaction order for both HDS and HDN was 1.50; while for non-treated HGO the reaction order for HDS was 2.25 and for HDN was 2.00. The activation energies were then calculated with 141.4 kJ/mol being obtained for HDS and 113.8 kJ/mol for HDN for treated HGO; while for non-treated HGO the activation energy for HDS was 150.4 kJ/mol and for HDN was 121.4 kJ/mol. It was observed that the conversion of both HDS and HDN were higher and the activation energies were lower for treated HGO, indicating that the removal of non-basic nitrogen species prior to hydrotreatment had a positive impact on catalyst performance and consequently the level of conversion.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorDalai, Ajay K.; Adjaye, John D.
CommitteeSoltan, Jafar; Oguocha, Ikechukwuka N.; Scott, Robert
Copyright DateApril 2012