Adsorptive Desulfurization: Fast On-Board Regeneration and the Influence of Fatty Acid Methyl Ester on Desulfurization and in Situ Regeneration Performance of a Silver-Based Adsorbent

Raphael Neubauer*, Christof Weinländer, Norbert Kienzl, Hartmuth Schröttner, Christoph Hochenauer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adsorptive on-board desulfurization units require a high desulfurization and regeneration performance for a wide range of fuels to keep them small and ensure long maintenance intervals. A novel thermal regeneration strategy was investigated in this work, fulfilling all requirements for in situ on-board regeneration. In this strategy, a temperature-controlled flow rate (TCFR) of air was used to control the temperature inside the adsorber. With this dynamic approach, the regeneration time was reduced significantly in comparison to other thermal regeneration strategies. The novel regeneration strategy was tested using Ag–Al2O3 as an adsorbent to desulfurize a benzothiophen (BT)-enriched road diesel (300 ppmw of total sulfur). A commercial diesel containing fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) was used to evaluate the fuel flexibility regarding desulfurization and regeneration performance. In the case of 6.63 wt % FAME and 300 ppmw of sulfur, the breakthrough adsorption capacity of sulfur decreased from 1.04 to 0.17 mg/g. In TCFR regeneration experiments, the breakthrough adsorption capacity was restored to over 94% in the case of both fuels. Thereby, the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area of the regenerated adsorbent decreased by only 1.5%, and negligible carbon deposits were detected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5174–5182
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy & Fuels
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Desulfurization
  • Adsorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)

Cite this