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Desulfurization of Fuels

Technology Number: 


Principal Investigator



Organic Chemistry

The Weizmann Institute is actively seeking a company interested in commercializing a novel technology that reduces sulfur content in refined fuels. Fossil fuels sources such as oil, coal, natural gas, shales and others contain varying amounts of sulfur compounds. As world reserves of high quality fossil fuels diminish and regulatory standards tighten on reduced levels of sulfur containing emissions, the need for effective methods for removal of refractory sulfides from refined fuels arises.

This invention makes use of a catalytic reaction to remove refractory sulfides from refined fuels thereby enabling the reduction and removal of sulfides. The catalyst is then purified by aerobic oxidation (low temperature combustion) and reused.


  • Desulfurization of fuels in oil refineries - useful for deep desulfurization of fuels containing relatively small amounts of organic sulfur compounds.


  • The process does not require high pressure hydrogen and can be carried out at low temperature.

  • The process complements present HDS technology tp remove refractory sulfides.

  • Catalyst recovery and recycle is carried out by low temperature pyrolysis.

  • No need for additional separation or adsorption processes.

  • No need for additional fuel drying steps.

Technology's Essence

The invention relates to a method for removing heteroaromatic, refractory sulfides down to sub-ppm levels from refined fuels such as gasoline, diesel oil and kerosene. The process uses a heterogeneous catalyst that reacts with the refractory sulfides and oligomerizes or polymerizes them to insoluble polymers that are adsorbed on the catalyst. After use, the catalyst is recovered and purified by low temperature aerobic total oxidation (combustion) reused. This process completes desulfurization of fuels in oil refineries.

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