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Tune up the ‘sweetening’ process for your facility

06.01.2013  |  Garg, M. O.,  Indian Institute of Petroleum, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Dehradun, IndiaKumar, S.,  Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, IndiaGanguly, S. K.,  CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, IndiaDas, G. ,  CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, IndiaSain, B. ,  CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, India

Keywords: [treating] [sweetening] [mercaptan] [thiols] [catalyst] [naphtha]

Novel catalysts can improve the oxidation of thiols (RSH) found in light oils. Thiols in petroleum products, such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and light straight-run naphtha (LSRN), usually found as light RSH compounds. They are undesirable, have a foul odor, and are highly corrosive. Light RSH can also affect the activity of catalysts for downstream processes. The process for removing thiols is referred to as “sweetening.” The thiols are catalytic oxidized to less deleterious disulfides.1 The light RSH is first extracted with an aqueous caustic solution to form mercaptides, as shown in Eq. 1. The subsequent salts (NaSR) are oxidized in the presence of a catalyst and air to organic disulfides (RSSR) as shown by Eq. 2. The overall reaction can be represented as:

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