Desulfurization of a Model Liquid Fuel by Adsorption over Zinc oxide/Activated Alumina Assisted with Ultrasonication

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Chemical Engineering-University of Technology, Baghdad, Iraq.

2 Chemical Engineering Department, University of Technology, Baghdad, Iraq.

3 Al Turath University College, Baghdad, Iraq.


This study aims to obtain a jet fuel with a sulfur content of less than 15 ppm commensurate with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements by the sulfur removal of model jet fuels with ultrasound-assisted adsorption for batch systems. A model jet fuel was desulfurized using a modified adsorbent in the present work. The wet impregnation process of Zinc synthesized the adsorbent over activated alumina assisted with ultrasonication in different loading weight percentages of 8.6, 12.2, 18.8, and 22.2wt. %. Experimental results revealed that the best adsorbent performance ratio for Zinc was 18.8wt. %. SEM, EDS, FTIR, XRD, and BET have been used to characterize the prepared adsorbents and evaluate the adsorption process activity. Response surface methodology (RSM), combined with the central composite design (CCD), was used for statistical modeling targeted directly at optimizing the removal process. The critical parameters of initial sulfur concentration, the adsorbent dose, stirring time, and sonication time were investigated for their effect on the process efficiency. The results showed that maximum removal of 68.8 % was obtained at 40 mg/L initial sulfur concentration, 12.3 g/L adsorbent dose, 117 minutes stirring time, and 39 minutes sonication time. The equilibrium data of sulfur adsorption onto ZnO/Al2O3 were studied using the linear form of the Freundlich, Langmuir, and Temkin models. Langmuir gives a better fit with a correlation coefficient of R2 = 0.9985. The resulting kinetic statistics indicated that a pseudoـfirstـorder model for adsorbent represents the adsorption kinetics more accurately with a correlation coefficient of R2 = 0.9602. Finally, the estimated thermodynamic parameters reveal that the adsorption is endothermic. In addition, the ΔG value, which was inversely proportional with increasing temperature, denotes spontaneity and process feasibility.


Volume 65, Issue 131 - Serial Number 13
Special Issue: Chemistry and Global Challenges (Part A)
December 2022
Pages 807-825
  • Receive Date: 21 February 2022
  • Revise Date: 13 March 2022
  • Accept Date: 26 March 2022