Novel catalysts were developed for the hydrodesulfurization, hydrodenitrogenation and hydrocracking of Israeli shale oil. They were designed to operate on feedstock containing a high level of sulfur and nitrogen. Two hydrotreating stages and one hydrocracking stage were performed in a batch reactor. High-activity catalysts with large macropores yielded 97 and 79% conversion of sulfur and nitrogen respectively in the first stage. 1H and 13C n.m.r. and nitrogen distribution measurements among the distillation cuts showed that nitrogen remaining after the first hydrotreating stage comprised low-molecular-weight heteroaromatics. A further reduction of the sulfur to 100-200 ppmw and nitrogen to 7-30 ppmw was obtained in the second stage using zeolite-containing catalysts. The major parameters affecting the catalyst performance were tested. A moderate temperature of 380°C and pressure of 15 MPa were used in both stages. A selective dual-zeolite hydrocracking catalyst in a third stage yielded 80% of the product in the naphtha boiling range.
- Oil shale