ABSTRACT Removal of air pollutants, such as nitrogen and sulphur containing compounds from a model oil (dodecane) was studied. An ionic liquid (1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride [C2mim] [Cl]) was used as an extractant. Liquid-liquid extraction by using 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride [C2mim] [Cl] was found to be a very promising method for the removal of N- and S-compounds. This was evaluated by using a model oil (dodecane) with indole as a neutral nitrogen compound and pyridine as a basic nitrogen compound. Dibenzothiophene (DBT) was used as a sulphur compound. An extraction capacity of up to 90 wt% was achieved for the model oil containing pyridine, while only 76 wt% of indole in the oil was extracted. The extraction capacity of a model sulphur compound DBT was found to be up to 99 wt%. Regeneration of the spent ionic liquid was carried out with toluene back-extraction. A 1:1 toluene-to-IL wt ratio was performed at room temperature. It was observed that, for the spent ionic liquid containing DBT as a model compound more than 85 wt% (corresponding 3852 mg/kg) could be removed from the oil. After the second regeneration cycle, 86 wt% of the DBT was recovered from the ionic liquid to toluene. In the case of indole as the nitrogen containing species, more than 99 wt%, (corresponding to 2993 mg/kg) of the original indole was transferred from the model oil to the ionic liquid. After the first-regeneration cycle of the spent ionic liquid, 54 wt% of the indole–in-IL was transferred to toluene. Thus, both extractions of nitrogen and sulphur model compounds were successfully carried out from model oil and the back-extraction of these compounds from the ionic liquids to toluene demonstrated the proved the concept of the regeneration point of view.
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