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Sohan Bir Singh, Speaker at Catalysis Conferences
Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India
Title : Desulfurization by reactive adsorption over zinc oxide based adsorbents


The residue sulfur in transportation fuels is one of the major sources of air pollution. This study investigated the room temperature adsorptive removal of thiophene as a sulfur compound over zinc oxide adsorbents in the presence of hydrogen. The bulk zinc oxide was prepared by precipitation method and calcined at different temperatures in the range of 300-550 °C. Supported zinc oxide was prepared by co-precipitation of 30 wt.% ZnO with alumina and calcined at 550 °C. Properties of the adsorbents were determined by various characterization techniques such as surface area and pore volume analysis, XRD, FESEM, EDX and TPR. The desulfurization process was carried out in a down-flow packed bed reactor at room temperature (30 °C). The BET surface area of bulk zinc oxide adsorbents decreased with the increase in calcination temperature from 300 to 550 °C. The surface area of bulk zinc oxide adsorbents was 30.5 and 14.6 m2/g when calcined at 300 and 550 °C, respectively. The surface area of supported zinc oxide adsorbents was 177 m2/g. The highest average pore size was obtained for bulk ZnO calcined at 550 °C (45 nm) compared to that calcined at 300 °C (42 nm) and supported ZnO (27 nm). The XRD peaks corresponded to the hexagonal structure of zinc oxide. The removal of thiophene was most significant for bulk ZnO calcined at 550 °C. The higher removal efficiency for this adsorbent in spite of lower surface area may be attributed to its higher percentage of larger pores and higher average pore size.


I am presently working as a postdoctoral research associate at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA. Where, I’m involved in two projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy; 1. Production of carbon nanomaterials and sorbents from domestic U.S. coal, 2. Development of coal-based supercapacitor materials for energy storage. I received my Ph.D. and master’s degree in chemical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India, where I have developed low-cost templated carbons, graphene, silica materials and ZnO-based adsorbents for hydrogen storage, CO2 capture and desulfurization applications. I have contributed to 10 publications in peer-reviewed international journals, presented research work at 8 national and international conferences and attended 5 workshops. With that, I reviewed more than 60 research papers and I am serving as Editorial member of three research journals.