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Biodesulfurization of Petroleum Distillates—Current Status, Opportunities and Future Challenges

Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 2050, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Environments 2017, 4(4), 85;
Received: 15 October 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fate of Toxic Pollutants in the Environment)
Sulfur oxide (SO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) are considered as one of the major air pollutants in the world today. In addition, high sulfur levels in petroleum distillates can promote the deactivation of catalysts through poisoning in fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC) during hydrocracking of the heavy distillates to lighter ones. The presence of high sulfur-containing compounds in the process streams could cause corrosion of piping and fittings and equipment, thereby damaging the pipelines and leading to air emissions of sulfur-containing compounds, which are undesirable for mankind and his environment. In many cases, a large quantity of SOx is released into the atmosphere when petroleum distillates that contain substantial amount of sulphur-containing compounds are used as fuel and combust. In this article, a short overview of different desulfurization methods that are employed to remove sulfur from petroleum distillates is provided. In particular, the review concentrates on biodesulfurization technique. In addition, this article intends to provide its readers current status of biodesulfurization (BDS). It critically analyses the trend in the development of the technology to showcase its strength and weakness that could pave a way for future opportunities. Approaches that are suitable to remediate sulfur-contaminated environment are discussed as well. Lastly, speculations on future directions or opportunities that require exploration are provided as a way of provoking the thoughts of researchers in this field. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodesulfurization; sulfur; petroleum distillates; desulfurization; emissions; environment biodesulfurization; sulfur; petroleum distillates; desulfurization; emissions; environment
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Sadare, O.O.; Obazu, F.; Daramola, M.O. Biodesulfurization of Petroleum Distillates—Current Status, Opportunities and Future Challenges. Environments 2017, 4, 85.

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