Grafted zeolites for the removal of metal cations from crude oil hydrotreatment extract

2019-02-14T12:06:00Z (GMT) by R.E. Kukwa Sandra E. Dann
Surface-modified zeolite Y has been synthesised and studied for potential application as an adsorbent for the removal of metal cations from aqueous solutions. Zeolite Y was synthesised under hydrothermal conditions at 100 °C in an autoclave and characterised by elemental analysis and thermogravimetric analysis to determine the chemical formula of the host material as Na54.91Al56Si136O384.246.5H2O. 3-Aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) grafted zeolite Y was prepared by first preparing proton-exchanged zeolite Y using an 0.1 M ammonium nitrate solution followed by calcination at 350 o C. The APTES ligand was then grafted onto the protonated zeolite using three different solvent media. CHN analysis, FTIR spectroscopy, SSNMR and TG analysis indicated that the ligand was bonded covalently to zeolite Y attaching onto the inorganic surface through the available silanol groups. CHN analysis showed that hexane was the most effective solvent for carrying out ligand grafting, as indicated by the highest proportion of carbon present in the product after removal of free solvent (5.08%). APTES grafted zeolite Y was exposed to aqueous solutions containing different concentrations of divalent nickel cations (0.01 M to 0.1 M). An increase to 73.8% Ni (II) removal compared to 18.1% uptake by the parent zeolite Y without any graft was observed when the concentration of nickel was 0.01 M. The selectivity study using a solution containing five different transition metal cations; Ni (II), V (IV), Cu (II), Zn (II), and Fe (II) to mimic the species most often observed in hydrotreatment extract from crude oil, showed proportional removals of 83.7%, 91.3%, 82.8%, 70.6% and 85.7% respectively. This study indicates that APTES modified zeolite Y could be a useful material for the removal of catalytic poisons in hydroprocessing solutions during the processing of heavier crude oils.