Adsorption of thiophenic compounds from model diesel fuel using copper and nickel impregnated activated carbons

Elham S. Moosavi, Seyed A. Dastgheib, Ramin Karimzadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adsorption of sulfur compoundsby porous materials is an effective way to produce cleaner diesel fuel. In this study, adsorption of refractory thiophenic sulfur compounds, i.e.,benzothiophene (BT), dibenzothiophene (DBT), and 4,6-dimethyldibenzothiophene(4,6-DMDBT) in single-solute systems from n-hexane solutions onto metal-impregnated activated carbons was investigated. A hydrogen-treated activated carbon fiber was selectively loaded with Ni, NiO, Cu, Cu2O, and CuO species to systematically assess the impact of each metal species on the adsorption of thiophenic compounds (TC). Metal-loaded adsorbents had the same total metal contents and similar microporosities, but contained different types of copper or nickel species. All metal-loaded adsorbents showed enhanced adsorption of tested TC. Cu2O- or NiO-loaded adsorbents exhibited the highest uptakes, due to more specific interactions between Cu+ or Ni2+ species and TC molecules. The theoretical monolyer coverage of TC on the exposed Cu+ sites was estimated and compared with that calculatedfrom the experimental data. Results suggested catalytic conversion of TC molecules to other compounds on the Cu+ sites, followed by adsorption of reaction productsonto the carbon surface or multilayer accumulation of TC molecules on the Cu+ sites. TC adsorption uptake of the majority of adsorbents followed the order of:4,6-DMDBT > DBT > BT due to higher intensity of specific and non-specific interactions of larger TC molecules with adsorbents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4233-4250
Number of pages18
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Ativated carbon
  • Copper
  • Impregnation
  • Nickel
  • Thiophenic compound
  • adsorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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