Characterization and Identification of the most Refractory Nitrogen Compounds in Hydroprocessed Vacuum Gas Oil

Peter Wiwel, Berit Hinnemann, Angelica Hidalgo-Vivas, Per Zeuthen, Bent O. Petersen, Jens Øllgaard Duus

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


There is currently a growing need to hydroprocess heavier and tougher crude oils with increased nitrogen content. Therefore, hydrodenitrogenation (HDN) has become a critical hydroprocessing reaction, making it essential to gain insight into which nitrogen-containing compounds are the most difficult to treat. In the present article, we describe the identification of nitrogen compounds in severely pretreated feed for hydrocracking (HC). The nitrogen compounds in the N-slip to the hydrocracker are isolated and concentrated on solid-phase extraction (SPE) columns and identified by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS), gas chromatography with atomic emission detection (GC-AED), and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations support the structural identification and are further used to investigate the reactivity. We find that the most refractory organic nitrogen compounds in the N-slip belong to the family of 4,8,9,10-tetrahydrocyclohepta[def]carbazoles. These molecules are slightly more basic than other carbazoles and thus are likely to have an impact on the performance of the downstream catalysts; however, their very low reactivities make them extremely difficult to remove under normal hydrotreating conditions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndustrial & Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)3184-3193
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization and Identification of the most Refractory Nitrogen Compounds in Hydroprocessed Vacuum Gas Oil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this