Oxidative desulfurization of fuel oil and molecular characterization of the sulfone compound distribution in the different extractants

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PMoA/G5 catalyst was synthesized, and its oxidative desulfurization (ODS) performance on model oil was studied. The catalyst and oxidation-extraction-adsorption system was used for the ODS of Arabian Extra light oil (AXL). Acetonitrile and methanol were chosen as different extractants for the extraction of sulfones (O2S and O2S4). The distribution of sulfone was first reported in detail at each of the three-stage extraction solvents at the molecular level analyzed by the Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS), proton, and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR,13C NMR). The FT-ICR MS results show that the extracted proportion of macromolecular sulfone compounds increases with the extraction stages. Acetonitrile exhibited better selectivity than methanol for polyaromatic sulfone with a high carbon number for the O2S species with double bond equivalent (DBE) = 12–15 and O2S2 species with DBE = 11–16. The NMR results reveal that polyaromatics with naphthenic rings and a low carbon number (<30) can be easily extracted due to their high polarity. The excellent performance of the PMoA/G5 catalyst makes it a promising candidate in the ODS reaction, and the research results give guidelines for ODS technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number124902
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
StatePublished - Dec 15 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Office of Sponsored Research financially supported this work. The author thanks Dr. Javier Patarroyo’s support for the TEM analysis and the Arabian extra light crude oil supported by Saudi Aramco.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Extraction
  • Oxidative desulfurization
  • PMoA/G5 catalyst
  • Sulfone distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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