(137d) Adsorption of Virgin and Thermal Cracked Asphaltenes for Gasification

Authors: 
Carbognani, L., University of Calgary
Lopez-Linares, F., University of Calgary
Pereira-Almao, P., University of Calgary
Sosa-Stull, C., University of Calgary


To date, the most common process for hydrogen generation used in upgrading of heavy hydrocarbons is Steam Reforming of natural gas and/or naphtha. Nevertheless, natural gas and naphtha have much better alternative uses. Moreover, bitumen upgrading using hydrogen generated from Steam Reforming of natural gas and/or naphtha increases upgrading cost significantly. An alternative and cost effective process for hydrogen production can be gasification of the heaviest hydrocarbon molecules, preferably the ones closest to instability, at low temperature after selectively removing them from the heavy oil stream. The objective of this work was to design inexpensive, thermally stable macro porous selective adsorbents with catalytic active phases capable of steam reforming adsorbed heavy hydrocarbons by attacking them from multiple surface sites with the oxygen coming from water splitting. Ideally, the oxidation product would preferably be CO2 in order to ensure maximum H2 production. The macroporous adsorbent should be prepared at low cost, tolerant to steam and to the severity of gasification conditions as well as capable of accumulating metals present in the feedstock with minor negative impact on the performance. Another objective of this work was to accelerate the development of the process by using commercially available model molecules with similar defining asphaltenes characteristics to test their adsorption on the designed solid. This work demonstrated, at a conceptual level and laboratory scale, the viability of the proposed upgrading scheme comprising the integrated converted asphaltenes retention and hydrogen production processes at temperatures as low as 600◦C.

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