Understanding the Hydrodenitrogenation of Heteroaromatics on a Molecular Level

Mark Bachrach, Tobin J. Marks*, Justin M. Notestein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The cleavage of recalcitrant C-N linkages in heteroaromatic molecules is a critical component of hydrodenitrogenation (HDN) reactions, the processes by which N atoms are removed from crude fuels. C-N bond cleavage of heteroaromatics with traditional HDN catalysts such as sulfided Ni/Mo-Al2O3 and Ni/W-Al2O3 requires aggressive conditions to hydrogenate the heterocyclic rings and often unnecessarily saturates the carbocyclic rings as part of the C-N cleavage process. In contrast, small-molecule models have illustrated selective hydrogenation of the heterocyclic ring, providing mechanistic insight into HDN processes and inspiring the design of new, more selective HDN catalysts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1455-1476
Number of pages22
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 4 2016


  • C-N bond cleavage
  • hydrodenitrogenation
  • hydrotreating
  • organometallic models
  • petroleum refining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


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