Modeling of Sulfur Removal from Heavy Fuel Oil Using Ultrasound-Assisted Oxidative Desulfurization

  • Claudia Hernandez Ponce

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Growing environmental concerns, such as global warming, are giving rise to new regulations imposed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on sulfur content for marine fuels, thus, constraining refining processes. Oxidative desulfurization (ODS) is an appealing desulfurization method with some advantages over traditional processes like hydrodesulfurization (HDS), such as mild operating conditions and no-hydrogen consumption. ODS could be employed as a complementary or alternative process for HDS. During the oxidative desulfurization, the organo-sulfur compounds are oxidized to polar sulfones. Then, such sulfones are separated from the treated fuel oil using techniques such as liquid-liquid extraction. In the present work, the separation of oxidized sulfur-containing compounds of heavy fuel oil using ultrasound-assisted technology has been investigated and simulated in Aspen Plus. The oxidant selected was hydrogen peroxide, while the catalyst was acetic acid. The chosen solvent for the sulfone separation was acetonitrile. The primary goal of this work is to successfully emulate the operation performed by an oxidative desulfurization pilot plant-scale apparatus designed by Tecnoveritas®, which will later allow the analysis of the parameters on the overall sulfur removal efficiency.
Date of AwardJul 2020
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorWilliam Roberts (Supervisor)


  • Heavy fuel oil
  • Desulfurization
  • Simulation
  • IMO 2020
  • Sulfur removal
  • Oxidative desulfurization

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