In-situ microwave-assisted catalytic upgrading of heavy oil: Experimental validation and effect of catalyst pore structure on activity

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In-situ microwave-assisted catalytic upgrading of heavy oil : Experimental validation and effect of catalyst pore structure on activity. / Adam, Mohamed; Anbari, Hossein ; Hart, Abarasi; Wood, Joe; Robinson, John P.; Rigby, Sean P.

In: Chemical Engineering Journal, 22.10.2020.

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@article{6521297da6cb49359d652462772db96e,
title = "In-situ microwave-assisted catalytic upgrading of heavy oil: Experimental validation and effect of catalyst pore structure on activity",
abstract = "In-situ combustion alone may not provide sufficient heating for downhole, catalytic upgrading of heavy oil in the Toe-to-Heel Air Injection (THAI) process. In this study, a new microwave heating technique has been proposed as a strategy to provide the requisite heating. Microwave technology is alone able to provide rapid heating which can be targeted at the catalyst packing and/or the incoming oil in its immediate vicinity. It was demonstrated, contrary to previous assertions, that heavy oil can be heated directly with microwaves to 425°C, which is the temperature needed for successful catalytic upgrading, without the need for an additional microwave susceptor. Upgrading of > 3.2° API points, a reduction in viscosity to less than 100 cP, and > 12% reduction in sulfur content was achieved using commercially available hydrodesulfurization (HDS) catalyst. The HDS catalyst induced dehydrogenation, with nearly 20% hydrogen detected in the gas product. Hence, in THAI field settings, part of the oil-in-place could be sacrificed for dehydrogenation, with the produced hydrogen directed to aid hydrodesulfurization and improve upgrading. Further, this could provide a route for downhole hydrogen production, which can contribute to the efforts towards the hydrogen economy. A single, unified model of evolving catalyst structure was developed. The model incorporated the unusual gas sorption data, computerized x-ray tomography and electron microprobe characterization, as well as the reaction behavior. The proposed model also highlighted the significant impact of the particular catalyst fabrication process on the catalytic activity.",
keywords = "Catalyst characterization, Heavy oil, Heterogeneous catalysis, In-situ catalytic upgrading, Microwave heating",
author = "Mohamed Adam and Hossein Anbari and Abarasi Hart and Joe Wood and Robinson, {John P.} and Rigby, {Sean P.}",
note = "Funding Information: This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council [grant number EP/N032985/1 ]. Publisher Copyright: {\textcopyright} 2020 Copyright: Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.",
year = "2020",
month = oct,
day = "22",
doi = "10.1016/j.cej.2020.127420",
language = "English",
journal = "Chemical Engineering Journal",
issn = "1385-8947",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - In-situ microwave-assisted catalytic upgrading of heavy oil

T2 - Experimental validation and effect of catalyst pore structure on activity

AU - Adam, Mohamed

AU - Anbari, Hossein

AU - Hart, Abarasi

AU - Wood, Joe

AU - Robinson, John P.

AU - Rigby, Sean P.

N1 - Funding Information: This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council [grant number EP/N032985/1 ]. Publisher Copyright: © 2020 Copyright: Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

PY - 2020/10/22

Y1 - 2020/10/22

N2 - In-situ combustion alone may not provide sufficient heating for downhole, catalytic upgrading of heavy oil in the Toe-to-Heel Air Injection (THAI) process. In this study, a new microwave heating technique has been proposed as a strategy to provide the requisite heating. Microwave technology is alone able to provide rapid heating which can be targeted at the catalyst packing and/or the incoming oil in its immediate vicinity. It was demonstrated, contrary to previous assertions, that heavy oil can be heated directly with microwaves to 425°C, which is the temperature needed for successful catalytic upgrading, without the need for an additional microwave susceptor. Upgrading of > 3.2° API points, a reduction in viscosity to less than 100 cP, and > 12% reduction in sulfur content was achieved using commercially available hydrodesulfurization (HDS) catalyst. The HDS catalyst induced dehydrogenation, with nearly 20% hydrogen detected in the gas product. Hence, in THAI field settings, part of the oil-in-place could be sacrificed for dehydrogenation, with the produced hydrogen directed to aid hydrodesulfurization and improve upgrading. Further, this could provide a route for downhole hydrogen production, which can contribute to the efforts towards the hydrogen economy. A single, unified model of evolving catalyst structure was developed. The model incorporated the unusual gas sorption data, computerized x-ray tomography and electron microprobe characterization, as well as the reaction behavior. The proposed model also highlighted the significant impact of the particular catalyst fabrication process on the catalytic activity.

AB - In-situ combustion alone may not provide sufficient heating for downhole, catalytic upgrading of heavy oil in the Toe-to-Heel Air Injection (THAI) process. In this study, a new microwave heating technique has been proposed as a strategy to provide the requisite heating. Microwave technology is alone able to provide rapid heating which can be targeted at the catalyst packing and/or the incoming oil in its immediate vicinity. It was demonstrated, contrary to previous assertions, that heavy oil can be heated directly with microwaves to 425°C, which is the temperature needed for successful catalytic upgrading, without the need for an additional microwave susceptor. Upgrading of > 3.2° API points, a reduction in viscosity to less than 100 cP, and > 12% reduction in sulfur content was achieved using commercially available hydrodesulfurization (HDS) catalyst. The HDS catalyst induced dehydrogenation, with nearly 20% hydrogen detected in the gas product. Hence, in THAI field settings, part of the oil-in-place could be sacrificed for dehydrogenation, with the produced hydrogen directed to aid hydrodesulfurization and improve upgrading. Further, this could provide a route for downhole hydrogen production, which can contribute to the efforts towards the hydrogen economy. A single, unified model of evolving catalyst structure was developed. The model incorporated the unusual gas sorption data, computerized x-ray tomography and electron microprobe characterization, as well as the reaction behavior. The proposed model also highlighted the significant impact of the particular catalyst fabrication process on the catalytic activity.

KW - Catalyst characterization

KW - Heavy oil

KW - Heterogeneous catalysis

KW - In-situ catalytic upgrading

KW - Microwave heating

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85094831514&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.cej.2020.127420

DO - 10.1016/j.cej.2020.127420

M3 - Article

C2 - 33106747

JO - Chemical Engineering Journal

JF - Chemical Engineering Journal

SN - 1385-8947

M1 - 127420

ER -