Mesoporous carbon supported NiMo catalyst for the hydrotreating of coker gas oil
New catalyst development for the hydrotreating process, employing functionalized mesoporous carbon (mC) support is studied. mC support was prepared by the volume templating of alkali modified SBA-15 using sucrose as the carbon source and then functionalized using nitric acid of various concentrations (upto 8M HNO3). A series of NiMo catalysts (12% Mo and 2.4% Ni) were prepared using these functionalized mC supports. The supports and catalysts were characterized by N2 physisorption, SAXS, XRD, FTIR, TGA, SEM, TEM, H2-TPR and HRTEM. SAXS results indicated mild reduction in ordered structure of mesoporous carbons after functionalization. N2 physisorption analysis indicated progressive reduction in surface area and pore volume with the increase in nitric acid concentration. Enhancement of surface functional groups and acidity after functionalization were observed through FTIR spectroscopy and Boehm titration. SEM images showed the retention of needle like morphology in all functionalized carbon supports. TEM images showed that the increase in nitric acid concentration causes excessive etching, resulting in the reduction of ordered structure of functionalized mesoporous carbons. Hydrotreating study of these NiMo/mC catalysts were carried out under industrial operating conditions in a laboratory scale trickle bed reactor using coker light gas oil derived from Athabasca bitumen as feedstock. NiMo catalyst supported on 6M acid treated mC (i.e. NiMo/mC-6M) showed the highest activity due to higher surface functional groups, higher acidity and better textural properties. The HDS and HDN activities of NiMo/mC-6M catalyst were higher than that of NiMo/ã-Al2O3 catalyst owing to lower support metal interaction (SMI), higher surface area and effective functionalization. Using the mC-6M support, NiMo catalysts with different metal loading (12 – 27% Mo, 2.4 to 5.4% Ni) were prepared and characterized. Hydrotreating activity study of these catalysts indicated that the catalyst with 22% Mo and 2.9% Ni loading was the optimum catalyst on 6M functionalized mC support. Higher metal loading (>22%Mo) led to excessive pore blockage and improper metal dispersion resulting in decreased activity. Kinetic study of the optimum catalyst was carried out by varying temperature (330°C to 370°C), gas-to-oil ratio (400 – 1000 Nm3/m3), LHSV (1.0 to 2.5 hr-1) and pressure (7.8 to 9.8 MPa) and the data was fitted by non-linear regression method using power law model. The calculated reaction orders and activation energies were 2.8, 1.5 and 189 KJ/mol, 98.9 KJ/mol for HDS and HDN, respectively. The results of HRTEM and H2-TPR indicated lower SMI in mC supported catalyst resulting in the generation of qualitatively Type-II like NiMoS phase on functionalized mC supports, which is considered to be very active for hydrotreating. The hydrotreating activity of the optimum catalyst was higher than that of commercial catalyst (supported on ã-Al2O3). Long term deactivation experiment carried out over a total period of 10 weeks confirmed the durability of NiMo/mC catalyst for the duration of operation. This study reveals the immense capability of functionalized mC supports to become the potential alternative catalyst support to conventional ã-Al2O3 for the hydrotreating of gas oil feedstocks.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorAdjaye, John; Dalai, Ajay
CommitteeHwang, Dae Kun; Wang, Hui
Copyright DateMay 2011
metal support interaction