Catalytic Materials for Hydrodesulfurization Processes, Experimental Strategies to Improve Their Performance

  • Jorge RamírezEmail author
  • Perla Castillo-Villalón
  • Aída Gutiérrez-Alejandre
  • Rogelio Cuevas
  • Aline Villarreal


The performance of catalytic materials for hydrodesulfurization processes is highly sensitive to the preparation method and to the activation procedure. Important improvements in activity and selectivity can be achieved through the selection of adequate support matrix, use of organic additives, different precursor salts, and use of sulfidation procedures that favor complete sulfidation of the precursors of the active sulfided phase. Several essential experimental strategies to improve the performance of HDS catalysts are discussed here in the light of some of the works performed in our laboratory. Important activity and selectivity changes during the hydrodesulfurization of sulfur-containing molecules of different structure and reactivity (thiophene, dibenzothiophene, and 4,6-dimethyldibenzothiophene) over Mo, CoMo, and NiMo sulfides are produced when the catalyst support matrix is changed from alumina to titania. The comparison evidenced that the promotional effect of Co and Ni is substantially different for each reactive molecule on the different catalyst series. Similarly, positive changes in activity are produced with the use of EDTA or citric acid as organic additives during the preparation of alumina-supported unpromoted and co-promoted molybdenum sulfide. Differences in the extent of promotion are the source of the activity improvements when Co(Ni)-Mo(W)-based heteropolycompounds are used as alternative active-phase precursors in catalyst preparations. Some important preparation aspects are discussed for the design of selective HDS catalytic materials for hydrodesulfurization of FCC gasoline, which must provide high hydrodesulfurization without increasing the hydrogenation reactions. Finally, the importance of choosing a proper methodology for the activation of the supported phases to achieve an improved performance of the catalytic materials is highlighted.


HDS Catalytic materials Matrix support effects Organic additives Co(Ni)-Mo(W)-based heteropolycompounds Sulfidation methodology 



We acknowledge Facultad de Química-UNAM, PAIP 5000-9072, for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge Ramírez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Perla Castillo-Villalón
    • 1
  • Aída Gutiérrez-Alejandre
    • 1
  • Rogelio Cuevas
    • 1
  • Aline Villarreal
    • 1
  1. 1.UNICAT, Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Facultad de QuímicaUNAMCDMXMexico

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