Oxidative desulfurization of fuels using ionic liquids: A review

Hua Zhao, Gary A. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Extractive oxidation, wherein aromatic sulfurcontaining compounds are extracted and subsequently oxidized to their corresponding sulfones, has proven to be one of the most effective desulfurization methods for producing ultra-low sulfur content fuels. As non-volatile and highly designable solvents, ionic liquids (ILs) have attracted considerable attention for the oxidative desulfurization of fuels. In this review, we systematically discuss the utility of ILs in catalytic and extractive oxidation, including their role as extractant, catalyst, or both. We also discuss the challenges facing the use of ILs in this regard, including their relatively high cost and excessive viscosity, as well as their efficiency and stability as catalyst.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-279
Number of pages18
JournalFrontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 8 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • extraction
  • fuels
  • ionic liquids
  • oxidative desulfurization
  • petroleum
  • polyoxometalates


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