In-situ catalytic upgrading of heavy oil using dispersed bionanoparticles supported on gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
With the continuous depletion of global oil reserves, unconventional alternative oil resources like heavy oil and bitumen have become increasingly attractive. This study investigates the use of bimetallic bio-nanoparticles (bio-NPs), a potential alternative to commercial catalysts in heavy oil upgrading. The bio-NPs were made by sequential reduction of precious metal (Pd and Pt) ions with hydrogen as the electron donor at 5 wt% and 20 wt% metal loading using bacterial (Desulfovibrio desulfuricans and Bacillus benzeovorans) cells as support. The bio-NPs were characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Results of the catalytic upgrading of a feed heavy oil show that the bimetallic bio-NPs produced an increment of ∼2° in API (American Petroleum Institute) gravity (i.e. ∼9.1°) better than monometallic bio-NPs (∼7.6°) on average while the API gravity using thermal upgrading was lower (6.3°). The API gravity of a commercial Ni-Mo/Al2O3 catalyst was 11.1°. However, more coking was produced using the commercial catalyst than with the bio-NPs. The extent of viscosity reduction was: 98.7% (thermal), 99.2% (bio-NPs) and 99.6% (Ni-Mo/Al2O3) below 1031 mPa s for the feed heavy oil reference (baseline). The potential advantage of using bio-NPs is that the precious metals can be sourced cheaply from waste streams, which could serve as a potential platform for the green synthesis of catalytically active materials using bacteria for in-situ catalytic upgrading of heavy oils.
|Journal||Applied Catalysis B Environmental|
|Early online date||28 Oct 2016|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2017|