Hydrotreating of light gas oil using carbon nanotube supported NiMoS catalysts : influence of pore diameters
Sigurdson, Stefan Kasey
Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are a potential alternative to commonly used catalyst support structures in hydrotreating processes. Synthesis of MWCNTs with specific pore diameters can be achieved by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of a carbon source onto an anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) template. AAO films consist of pore channels in a uniform hexagonal arrangement that run parallel to the surface of the film. These films are created by the passivation of an aluminum anode within an electrolysis cell consisting of certain weak acid electrolytes. Changing the concentration of the electrolyte (oxalic acid) and the electrical potential of the electrolysis cell altered the pore channel diameter of these AAO films. Controlling the pore diameter of these templates enabled the pore diameter of MWCNTs synthesized by CVD to be controlled as well. The produced MWCNTs were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Raman spectroscopy, and N2 adsorption analysis. Anodizing conditions of 0.40 M oxalic acid concentration and 40.0 V maximum anodizing potential were found to produce AAO films that resulted in MWCNTs with optimum surface characteristics for a catalyst support application. CVD parameter values of 650°C reaction temperature and 8.00 mL/(min·g) C2H2-to-AAO ratio were found to produce the highest yield of MWCNT product. The MWCNTs were synthesized for the purpose of supporting hydroprocessing catalysts, with several grades of NiMo/MWCNT sulfide catalysts being prepared to determine the optimum pore size. These catalysts were characterized by techniques of TEM, CO chemisorption, N2 adsorption, and H2 temperature programmed reduction (TPR). A MWCNT grade with 67 nm inner diameters (found from TEM analysis) was found to offer the best hydrodesulfurization (HDS) and hydrodenitrogenation (HDN) activities for the treatment of coker light gas oil (CLGO). After determining the most suitable pore diameter, the optimum catalyst metal loadings were found to be 2.5 wt.% for Ni and 19.5 wt.% for Mo. The optimum catalyst was found to offer HDS conversions of 90.5%, 84.4%, and 73.5% with HDN conversions of 75.9%, 65.8%, and 55.3% for temperatures of 370°C, 350°C, and 330°C, respectively. An equal mass loading of commercial NiMo/ã-Al2O3 catalyst offered HDS conversions of 91.2%, 77.9%, and 58.5% with HDN conversions of 71.4%, 53.2%, and 31.3% for temperatures of 370°C, 350°C, and 330°C, respectively. A kinetic study was performed on the optimum NiMo/MWCNT catalyst to help predict its HDS and HDN activities while varying the parameters of temperature, liquid hourly space velocity (LHSV), pressure, and gas-to-oil flow rate ratio. Rate expressions were then developed to predict the behavior of both the HDS and HDN reactions. Power law models were best fit with reaction orders of 2.6 and 1.2, and activation energies of 161 kJ/mol and 82.3 kJ/mol, for the HDS and HDN reactions, respectively. Generalized Langmuir-Hinshelwood models were found to have reaction orders of 3.0 and 1.5, and activation energies of 155 kJ/mol and 42.3 kJ/mol, for the HDS and HDN reactions, respectively.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorDalai, Ajay; Adjaye, John
CommitteeNui, Catherine; Soltan, Jafar; Wilson, Lee
Copyright DateDecember 2009
gas oil hydrotreating