Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Novel catalysts to make cleaner diesel

Environmental standards for diesel fuels are continually improving, so manufacturers must meet these standards by developing more effective refining processes. Novel catalysts were developed that can be used in a scheme to produce improved quality fuels, both 'city diesel' and 'standard diesel', to meet new European fuel specifications.

The new catalysts were needed for the deep hydrodesulfurization (HDS) and hydrodearomatization (HDA) of broad range kerosene to meet future European Union (EU) specifications. In addition, reaction and reactor models were developed for the production of standard diesel, on the basis of state-of-the-art commercial catalysts. Catalysts were prepared through stepwise modification of existing hydrodesulfurization catalysts. They were then characterized and screened. Once the catalysts had been developed, they were then tested on pilot plant to assess their effectiveness. The catalysts were tested on real feedstocks to determine the influence of the feed composition and impurities on the catalyst activity and selectivity, its stability, and its resistance to poisoning and deactivation. Finally, kinetic models were developed for both HDS and HDA. This model could be validated using the results from the pilot plant to determine reaction mechanisms and kinetic rate equations. An improved HDA catalyst was produced at commercial scale and loaded at a UK refinery. Pilot plant performance data were fully confirmed. Catalysts were developed and tested successfully. The tests showed improvements in quality compared with earlier catalysts. Reaction and reactor models developed included options for simulation of the operation of an industrial plant, including in particular novel reactor modelling.


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