Reduction of Sulphur Content of Urals Crude Oil Prior to Processing Using Oxidative Desulphurization
The presence of sulphur in crude oil poses enormous challenges as regards its negative environmental and economic impacts. As such, the safety of the personnel and the equipment is at high risk during the processing of Urals crude oil in Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) because of its sour nature. This study was aimed at reducing the sulphur content of the Urals crude oil prior to processing by subjecting it to oxidative desulphurization where peracetic acid was used as the oxidant in the actual mass-to-stoichiometric mass ratio ranging from 1 to 5. The oxidized sulphur compounds were thereafter extracted using acetic acid as the extraction solvent. Furthermore, atmospheric distillation was carried out on both the raw and the desulphurized crude oil samples. Finally, the sulphur contents of the various crude oil samples and their fractions were analyzed. The results showed drastic reductions in the sulphur contents up to actual mass-to-stoichiometric mass ratio of 2 but the reductions became progressively insignificant afterwards. Meanwhile, the highest reduction in the sulphur content of the crude oil was 61.6 % while those of the gasoline, kerosene, diesel and residue were 32.0, 45.1, 68.9 and 75.0 % respectively. Therefore, peracetic acid is an effective oxidant for oxidative desulphurization of the crude oil.
Keywords: Sulphur content, Crude oil, Oxidative desulphurization, Thiophenic compounds