Reducing the viscosity of heavy oils for extraction is one of the most important research foci in contemporary petroleum science. KFU has long been concentrated on exactly this topic, more specifically, thermal treatment methods. The latest publication tackles the use of Fe, Co, Ni-based catalysts for this purpose.
"The catalysts showed good results under 300 degrees C in reducing viscosity, decreasing the ratio tars and asphaltenes, eliminating sulfur and nitrogen, reducing polyaromatic compounds, etc.," says Junior Research Associate Suweid Munir Abdo Mohammed.
"The catalysts are oil-soluble transition metal reagents with different ligands. Oil-soluble organic ligands can improve the lipophilicity of catalysts, which contributes to the fact that metal ions change their catalytic activity," adds Senior Research Associate, co-author of the paper Chengdong Yuan. "In this study, we looked at stearic acid in terms of its long alkyl chain, which can be useful for interacting with the long side chains of heavy oil components."
The results of the study showed that the good catalytic properties of the new transition metal catalysts, as well as their low cost and easy accessibility, make them a potential solution in the aquathermolysis reaction and heavy oil recovery.
The publication is currently available online and is scheduled to see light in print on 1st December 2020.