Process for desulfurizing hydrocarbon fuels and fuel components
Processes are disclosed for removing sulfur, including cyclic and polycyclic organic sulfur components such as thiophenes and benzothiophenes, from a hydrocarbon feedstock including fuels and fuel components. The feedstock is contacted with a regenerable sorbent material capable of selectively adsorbing the sulfur compounds present in the hydrocarbon feedstock in the absence of a hydrodesulfurization catalyst. In one embodiment, the sorbent can be an active metal oxide sulfur sorbent in combination with a refractory inorganic oxide cracking catalyst support. In another embodiment, the sorbent can be a metal-substituted refractory inorganic oxide cracking catalyst wherein the metal is a metal which is capable in its oxide form, of adsorption of reduced sulfur compounds by conversion of the metal oxide to a metal sulfide. The processes are preferably carried out in a transport bed reactor.