Biodesulfurization of Sour Crude Oil

  •  Bushra Esmail Alkhalili    
  •  Adibah Yahya    
  •  Norahim Ibrahim    
  •  Birintha Ganapathy    


Crude oil is one of the most important types of fossil fuel in the world. It is an economically important commodity that is massively used in many industrial activities. The poor quality of crude oil is related to high sulfur content, which translates to lower profit margins and negatively impacts air quality standards. Polyaromatic sulfur heterocycles (PASHs) that exist in crude oil requires an efficient reduction method to achieve significant desulfurization levels. Recently, biodesulfurization (BDS) is gaining greater attention attributed to its environmentally benign bioprocess; possible benefits of BDS include lower capital and processing costs. Studies have reported that BDS is urgently needed for desulfurization of recalcitrant organic sulfur relative to traditional approach, hydrodesulfurization (HDS). The establishment of commercial scale biorefining technology relies on major advancement with respect to less expensive and sufficient production of highly active and stable biocatalysts that can be adapted to intense conditions encountered in petroleum refineries. In this paper, a review on BDS processes for removing recalcitrant thoiphenic components from sour crude oil is conducted, covering the aim of most studies concerning desulfurizing bacteria, which enables a deep desulfurization of organosulfur compounds by 4S pathway, maintaining the caloric value of fuel.

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