The application of a catalytic membrane in the oxidative desulfurization of a multicomponent model diesel formed by most refractory sulfur compounds present in fuel is reported here for the first time. The catalytic membrane was prepared by the impregnation of the active lamellar [Gd(H4nmp)(H2O)2]Cl·2H2O (UAV-59) coordination polymer (CP) into a polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA, acrylic glass) supporting membrane. The use of the catalytic membrane in the liquid–liquid system instead of a powder catalyst arises as an enormous advantage associated with the facility of catalyst handling while avoiding catalyst mass loss. The optimization of various parameters allowed to achieve a near complete desulfurization after 3 h under sustainable conditions, i.e., using an aqueous H2O2 as oxidant and an ionic liquid as extraction solvent ([BMIM]PF6, 1:0.5 ratio diesel:[BMIM]PF6). The performance of the catalytic membrane and of the powdered UAV-59 catalyst was comparable, with the advantage that the former could be recycled successfully for a higher number of desulfurization cycles without the need of washing and drying procedures between reaction cycles, turning the catalytic membrane process more cost-efficient and suitable for future industrial application.
This work reports the results of the ultrasound-assisted hydrothermal synthesis of two sets of V2O5 dispersed on SBA-15 and Zr doped SBA-15 catalysts used for the oxidation of dibenzothiophene (DBT) in a model diesel via the combination of oxidation, catalysis, and extraction technical route. These catalysts contained Lewis acidity as major and Brønsted acidity as minor. The amount of acidity varied with the content of vanadia and zirconium doping. It was found that DBT conversion is very sensitive to the Lewis acidity. DBT conversion increased by increasing the vanadium content and correlated well with the amount of surface Lewis acidity. Under the optimal experimental condition (Reaction temperature: 60 °C, reaction time 40 min, catalyst concentration: 1 g/L oil; H2O2/DBT mole ratio = 10), the 30% V2O5/SBA-15 and 30% V2O5/Zr-SBA-15 catalysts could convert more than 99% of DBT. Two reaction pathways of DBT oxidation involving vanadia surface structure, Lewis acidity, and peroxometallic complexes were proposed. When the vanadia loading V2O5 ≤ 10 wt%, the oxidative desulfurization (ODS) went through the Pathway I; in the catalysts with moderate vanadia content (V2O5 = 20–30 wt%), ODS proceeded via the Pathways II or/and the Pathway I.