Composition and Transformation of Sulfur-, Oxygen-, and Nitrogen-Containing Compounds in the Hydrotreating Process of a Low-Temperature Coal Tar

Research paper by Hongxing Ni, Chunming Xu, Rui Wang, Xiaofen Guo, Yinhua Long, Chao Ma, Lulu Yan, Xuxia Liu, Quan Shi

Indexed on: 13 Feb '18Published on: 31 Jan '18Published in: Energy & Fuels


A low-temperature coal tar was subject to a three-stage catalytic hydrotreating reactor. The raw coal tar and its hydrotreating products from each reactor section were characterized by electrospray ionization (ESI) Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS). The removal efficiencies of sulfur, nitrogen, and oxygen were 99.4%, 88.4%, and 78.1%, respectively. The molecular transformation routes of each heteroatomic species are different. Sulfur species were removed from low double bond equivalence (DBE) values to higher values through the whole hydrotreating process. Furanic compounds and basic nitrogen compounds carried out the saturation of aromatic rings before the hydrogenation of low DBE species. Neutral nitrogen compounds were resistant in the processing and cannot be removed completely in the end of the hydroprocessing. The phenolic compounds were the most resistant to hydrotreating during the whole process. The transformation capabilities of heteroatom compounds in the processing were as follows: phenolic compounds > neutral nitrogen compounds > furanic compounds > basic nitrogen compounds > sulfur compounds.