There is a need for transportation fuel such as diesel oil to undergo a desulfurization process prior to its usage in order to comply with stringent environmental regulations. Predominant organic sulfur compounds present in fuel oils comprise benzothiophene (BT) and dibenzothiophene (DBT). High sulfur compound reduction is attainable through a desulfurization process but this often leads to risking higher operating cost due to longer reaction time and the use of large amounts of oxidizing agent and phase transfer agent. Fuzzy logic, which is often used in multi-objective decision-making models, is able to meet the desired objective and satisfy the given constraints at the same time. In this study, a pareto-optimal fuzzy analysis is used in order to determine the best conditions in the ultrasound-assisted oxidative desulfurization process and at the same time achieving the lowest possible operating cost for reducing BT and DBT. Process parameters investigated include ultrasonication time (10-30 min), phase transfer agent (100-300 mg), organic to aqueous phase ratio (10:30-30:10), and ferrate concentration (100-300 ppm) for the reduction of model sulfur compounds. Results through fuzzy optimization indicated optimum results of 93.79 % BT conversion with operating cost of US$ 0.830 and 88.36 % DBT conversion with operating cost of US$ 0.769.
Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, v.18 n.5, pp.1433-1441