(28a) Depicting and Separating "Pro-Linking" Componds to Enhance Upgrading Performance and Heavy Oils Processing

Pereira Almao, P. R. - Presenter, University of Calgary, Schulich School of Engineering

It's common understanding that the asphaltene content of a crude oil alienates the performance of its upgrading and refining. Although no directly correlated in any case, they are attributed responsibility for the limits of moderate thermal cracking; for the extent of coke production in more severe thermal cracking (delayed coking); for the increased fouling during processing the vacuum bottoms of heavy and extra heavy oils; and are thought to affect the life and performance of hydroprocessing catalysts.

Own (and other's) experiences show that only a fraction of heavy molecules, most of them recognized as asphaltene but many within the range of resins, are really at the basis of that behavior. These molecules can be referred to as ?pro-linking' compounds based on the promotional effects they have on resins to grow into asphaltenes, but also on their interlinking, flocculating, depositing and coking promotional activity during vacuum residues processing. Identification and selective, fast separation or transformation of these pro-linking compounds is the focus of this work. Their speciation and attempts of identification are presented. Their modeling with some relatively low molecular weight commercially available pure compounds, exhibiting similar properties of asphalthene is also introduced.

Understanding the specificities of pro-linking molecules will lead to smarter processing; some process schemes specifically dealing with these compounds are presented including their impact in both thermal cracking and hydroprocessing


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