Special Issue "Sustainable Fuel Desulfurization and Natural Gas Upgrading"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Chemical Engineering and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Yusuf G. Adewuyi
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Chemical, Biological and Bioengineering Department, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCAT), Greensboro, NC, USA
Interests: emerging areas of energy and environment, including catalysis, environmental reaction engineering; sustainable chemistry and engineering, synthesis of nanoscale materials for energy and environmental applications; sonochemistry, cavitation engineering, and advanced oxidation processes for water treatment and air pollution control; chemistry and kinetics of NOx, SO2 and Hg removal; biofuel synthesis and biomass conversion; sustainable fuel desulfurization and natural gas upgrading

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The current demand for clean energy sources has motivated the need for efficient desulfurization processes for transportation liquid fuels and natural gas (NG, >90% CH4) upgrading. The upgrading of NG and renewable biogas (or municipal/landfill gas) to biomethane requires the removal of mainly H2S, moisture (H2O) and CO2, and other impurities. CO2 capture for natural gas purification using the established chemical absorption process, utilizing amine-based solvents (e.g., monoethanolamine, MEA), suffers two major drawbacks: Large absorption body and high regeneration energy; and, therefore, could require the use of low heat of absorption solvent and process intensification to improve mass transfer and reaction rates. The removal of sulfur-containing compounds from liquid fuel and NG has traditionally been achieved by the catalytic hydrodesulfurization (HDS) process using sulfide Ni-MO/Al2O3 and Co-MO/Al2O3 catalysts and operating at high reactor temperature and pressures. HDS relies on the energy-intensive reaction of oil-based sulfur compounds with H2 to form gaseous H2S and a corresponding hydrocarbon (HC) fragment. Additionally, HDS has a significant carbon footprint due to the high energy consumption and the extensive use of H2 since the production of H2 is energy-intensive and results in the formation of CO2. In addition, fuel cells to produce clean electrical energy require a clean, essentially sulfur-free HC feed (<1 ppmw) to prevent poisoning of the anode catalyst. Therefore, more sustainable, non-H2 consuming and compact fuel processor to produce ultra-low sulfur fuels are desirable.

Some emerging desulfurization techniques include biodesulfurization (BDS), adsorptive desulfurization (ADS) and oxidative desulfurization (ODS). BDS explores a biochemical pathways to remove sulfur, which results in an unacceptable loss of fuel content, because sulfur removal occurs along with the overall degradation of HC compounds. A successful sorbent must exhibit very high selectivity, especially to recalcitrant sulfur compounds. Several adsorbents including zeolites, activated carbon, alumina, zirconia, silica gel, and other materials, have been studied and used from ambient temperature to 250 °C and/or under elevated pressures. In ODS, sulfur-containing compounds are initially oxidized to respective highly polar sulfone and/or sulfoxide, which can be separated by extraction with water-soluble polar solvents. Recently, ODS has been coupled with ultrasound irradiation, the so-called, ultrasound-assisted oxidative desulfurization (UAODS) and other advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) involving in situ generated strong oxidative radicals and H2O2. UAODS process is environmentally friendly, operates at ambient temperatures and atmospheric pressures, and is highly efficient. Examples include H2O2/organic acids, H2O2/heteropolyacid, H2O2/Ti-containing zeolites, H2O2/WOx/ZrO2, H2O2/metal-loaded Al2O3 catalysts, Ti-SiO2-based catalysts and other non-H2O2 systems (e.g., t-butyl hydroperoxide, O2, etc.).

This Special Issue seeks sustainable biological, green chemical (including the use of ionic liquids or reaction rate and/or mass transfer intensification methods), catalytic and/or adsorptive systems (including metal-organic framework or MOP materials), catalytic membrane-based, AOP-based and innovative compact or modular processes for sulfur removal and CO2 capture.

Prof. Dr. Yusuf G. Adewuyi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Clean liquid fuel
  • Natural gas and biogas upgrading
  • Catalytic Oxidative and adsorptive desulfurization
  • Ultrasound and cavitation-assisted desulfurization
  • Advanced oxidation process-based desulfurization
  • Combinative or hybrid sulfur and CO2 removal
  • Green chemical-based removal processes
  • Ionic liquids-based removal processes
  • Catalytic membrane-based processes
  • Process intensification
  • Compact and modular desulfurization systems
  • Fuel cell applications

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
Back to TopTop