Optimization of coke resistant catalyst for thermal down-hole upgrading

Paul Dim*, Sean Rigby, Abarasl Hart, Joseph Wood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Heavy oil and bitumen are a potential alternative energy source to conventional light crude. However, utilization of these resources can have significant environmental impact. Downhole upgrading offers the potential to improve recovery, and decrease environmental impact. However, use of catalysts to enhance downhole upgrading is limited by the need for a material that can survive the extreme coking conditions arising from the cracking of heavy oil into lighter oil. In this work the potential of hydrogen donors to improve upgrading and enhance catalyst lifetime was considered. In order to extract detailed information on the catalyst structural evolution during reaction a novel integrated adsorption and thermopnrometry characterization method was used. This technique allows detailed information to be obtained on the spatial arrangement of pores and their connectivity, as well as size distributions. For catalyst operated at the conditions studied, it has been found that coking arises in smaller pores branching off the larger pores providing acccss to the catalyst interior. It has been found that use of different hydrogen donors leads to differential survival of open smaller pores in the catalyst, with tetralin providing better protection than cyclohexane or hydrogen gas.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Heavy Oil Conference Canada 2014
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781632668875
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventSPE Heavy Oil Conference Canada 2014 - Calgary, Canada
Duration: 10 Jun 201412 Jun 2014

Publication series

NameSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Heavy Oil Conference Canada 2014


ConferenceSPE Heavy Oil Conference Canada 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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