275347 Oil Upgrading and Desulfurization by Supercritical Water

Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 10:30 AM
319 (Convention Center )
Mohammed Albahar1, Emad Shafei1, Abdulaziz Ghabbani2, Mohammad Garhoush1, Joo-Hyeong Lee1, Ali H. Alshareef1, Ashok K. Punetha1, Ali M. Al-Somali1 and Ki-Hyouk Choi1, (1)Research & Development Center, Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, (2)Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

In spite of many available upgrading technologies such as coking and hydrocracking processes, various nonconventional approaches have been studied to make a breakthrough to manage imminent challenge on refining industry. Supercritical water, as one of promising nonconventional technologies, has been explored to have firm proof-of-concept for upgrading petroleum feedstocks by many research groups. Major issues related to the proof-of-concept are the role of supercritical water in the reaction, reaction mechanisms, extent of desulfurization and upgrading, and probable corrosion by reactant and product. In spite of many reports on the issues, there was no clear evidence for the involvement of hydrogen in water toward upgrading reaction. Hydrogen is required to maintain performance in desulfurization and upgrading of petroleum without generating solid coke. This paper will present experimental results on the source of hydrogen in thermal cracking of hydrocarbons. Participation of water in the cracking reaction of paraffin and sulfur compound was proven by analysis of cracking product. Also, recent progress of supercritical water technology application to petroleum desulfurization and upgrading will be summarized.

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