Increase in energy demand and consumption has been accompanied by a corresponding increase in sulfur emissions. These pollutants have both health and economic consequences. Furthermore, it significantly reduces the efficiency of advanced emission control systems of diesel engines, thereby indirectly causing more harm to the environment. This resulted in stringent sulfur emission limit down to about 15 ppm or less and in turn served as an incentive for research into alternative sulfur reduction technologies. Although feasible improvements to hydrodesulfurization are currently under investigation, adsorptive, extractive, oxidative and biodesulfurization have also been studied in recent years. Oxidative desulfurization appears to be one of the most promising desulfurization technologies due to its broadness and compatibility with other technologies such as extractive, adsorptive and biodesulfurization. The advent of ionic liquids as extraction solvents has made this even more so. This work, therefore, reviews the different approaches and investigations carried out on oxidative desulfurization while identifying research gaps and giving important recommendations.
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