New technology for ultra-clean transportation fuels
The sulfur compounds in transportation fuels are a major source of air pollution: upon combustion, sulfur is converted to SOx, which not only contributes to acid rain, but also poisons the catalytic converter for exhaust emission treatment. More economical and convenient approaches are required to produce ultra-clean gasoline and diesel fuels that meet the current and future EPA regulations, as well as to produce fuel cell grade transportation fuels for fuel cell applications.
Deep desulfurization of liquid fuels has received much attention due to stringent environmental regulations. The current industrial process of hydrodesulfurization requires high temperature, high pressure conditions and large hydrogen consumption. A new process, adsorptive desulfurization, has been developed to produce ultra-clean fuel at ambient temperature and pressure without using hydrogen.
Chunshan Song, professor of fuel science, director, EMS Energy Institute and associate director of PSIEE, and his research group have successfully developed a few families of adsorbents. Yongsheng Chen, assistant professor of energy and mineral engineering and Virginia S. and Philip L. Walker, Jr. Faculty Fellow, is leading a collaborative effort with Song to better understand the fundamental principles governing the interactions between the sulfur compounds and the adsorbents.