Biodesulfurization (BDS)

Last updated: August 15, 2019

What Does Biodesulfurization (BDS) Mean?

Biodesulfurization (BDS) is the process of sulfur removal from fuels by means of living organisms. It is a non-invasive approach that can specifically remove sulfur from refractory hydrocarbons under mild conditions and it can be potentially used in industrial desulfurization.

In this process, bacteria remove organosulfur from petroleum fractions without degrading the carbon skeleton of the organosulfur compounds. During a BDS process, alkylated dibenzothiophenes are converted to non-sulfur compounds.

Like other desulfurization processes, biodesulfurization helps to reduce fuel corrosion of engines and increase fuel values. The BDS process is applied to desulfurize the more recalcitrant sulfur compounds.


Corrosionpedia Explains Biodesulfurization (BDS)

Biodesulfurization (BDS) offers an attractive alternative to conventional hydrodesulfurization due to the mild operating conditions and reaction specificity afforded by the biocatalyst. Biological desulfurization of petroleum may occur either oxidatively or reductively. In the oxidative approach, organic sulfur is converted to sulfate and may be removed in process water. Oxidative does not require further processing of the sulfur and may be amenable for use at the well head where process water may then be re-injected. In the reductive desulfurization scheme, organic sulfur is converted into hydrogen sulfide, which may then be catalytically converted into elemental sulfur.

The advantage of BDS is that it can be operated in conditions that require less energy and hydrogen. BDS operates at ambient temperature and pressure with high selectivity, resulting in decreased energy costs, low emissions and no generation of undesirable byproducts.

Successful biodesulfurization processes are based on naturally occurring aerobic bacteria that can remove organically bound sulfur in heterocyclic compounds without degrading the fuel value of the hydrocarbon matrix. In this process air is used to promote sulfur removal from the feedstock.


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