A method for removing thiophene and thiophene compounds from liquid fuel includes contacting the liquid fuel with an adsorbent which preferentially adsorbs the thiophene and thiophene compounds. The adsorption takes place at a selected temperature and pressure, thereby producing a non-adsorbed component and a thiophene/thiophene compound-rich adsorbed component. The adsorbent includes either a metal or a metal ion that is adapted to form .pi.-complexation bonds with the thiophene and/or thiophene compounds, and the preferential adsorption occurs by .pi.-complexation. A further method includes selective removal of aromatic compounds from a mixture of aromatic and aliphatic compounds.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made in the course of research partially supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) (Grant No. CTS-9819008 and Grant No. CTS-0138190); and by a grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) (Fuel Cell Grant No. DE-FC04-02AL67630). The U.S. government has certain rights in the invention.