Low-cost catalysts and methodologies for partial upgrading of bitumen

Low-cost catalysts and methodologies for partial and total upgrading of bitumen


In this program, the PI addresses the fundamental chemistry and chemical engineering to accomplish the partial and total upgrading of asphaltene-rich heavy petroleum. Our specific objectives are to develop asphaltene-selective catalytic transformations of bitumen asphaltenes to low-sulfur, low-nitrogen transportation fuels and value-added carbon materials (graphenes, carbon quantum dots, and fibres).  Room temperature disaggregation of asphaltene nanoaggregates and decarbonization of tailings and process water.  


Three key investigations have come to fruition, demonstrating unprecedented new technology for hydrogen-free bitumen upgrading: (1) electrocatalytic hydrodesulfurization and hydrodenitrogenation of whole bitumen and bitumen asphaltenes – low-sulfur, low-nitrogen transportation fuels directly from raw bitumen froth; (2) electrochemical conversion of bitumen and/or asphaltenes to graphenes and low-oxygen carbon quantum dots; and (3) whole bitumen upcycling – production of reinforced carbon fibres from bitumen mesophase/asphaltene blends.  Permament storage of carbon as electronic, photonic, and structural carbon materials.   

A Niobium Catalyst for Partial Upgrading

Natalia Semagina, Amir Rouhi

Conference/Symposium/Workshop Contribution

A Sulfided Homogeneous Iron Precatalyst for Partial Hydrogenation and Hydrodesulfurization of Polycyclic Aromatic Model Asphaltenes

Jeffrey Mark Stryker, William McCaffrey, Benjamin Antwi Peprah, Orain Alberga Brown

Scholarly Refereed Journal

Base metal-catalyzed, additive-free C–O bond cleavage of β-O-4 lignin model compounds

Natalia Semagina, Jeffrey Mark Stryker, Asama Vorapattanapong (Leduc), Orain Alberga Brown

Conference/Symposium/Workshop Contribution

Computational Investigation of the Metal and Ligand Substitution Effects on the Structure and Electronic States of the Phosphoranimide Tetramer Complexes of Cu(I), Ni(I), Co(I), and Fe(I)

Jeffrey Mark Stryker

Scholarly Refereed Journal

Dark Matter Materials, Inc.

Jeffrey Mark Stryker, Robin Hamilton

Start-up Company

Deciphering Structure and Aggregation in Asphaltenes: Hypothesis-driven Design and Development of Synthetic Model Compounds

Jeffrey Mark Stryker, David Scott

Scholarly Refereed Journal

Decoupling structure-sensitive deactivation mechanisms of Ir/IrOx electrocatalysts toward oxygen evolution reaction

Marc Secanell, Natalia Semagina, Jing Shen, XueHai Tan

Scholarly Refereed Journal

Disaggregation of Asphaltene and Its Model Compounds in Solutions Depending on Affinity Indices of Hansen Solubility Parameter Using Ultra- Small-, Small-, and Wide-Angle X-ray Scattering

Jeffrey Mark Stryker, David Scott

Scholarly Refereed Journal

Electrifying Partial Upgrading

Natalia Semagina, Jeffrey Mark Stryker, Robin Hamilton, Orain Alberga Brown, David Scott

Conference/Symposium/Workshop Contribution

First Row Metal Catalysts for Hydrogenolysis of Carbon–Sulfur*and*Carbon-Oxygen Bonds

Orain Alberga Brown

Doctoral Thesis/Dissertation

Heterobimetallic catalysts for selective desulfurization and deoxygenation of aromatic residues

Orain Alberga Brown

Conference/Symposium/Workshop Contribution

Hydrogen-free Copper-catalyzed Internal Transfer Hydrogenolysis of Lignin and Lignin Model Compounds

Jeffrey Mark Stryker, Orain Alberga Brown, Sanjay Jadhav, Tarek El Sayed

Scholarly Refereed Journal

Hydrotreating behavior of niobium catalyst

Natalia Semagina, Amir Rouhi

Conference/Symposium/Workshop Contribution

Inhibition of diolefin hydrogenation by quinoline

Natalia Semagina, Jing Shen

Article in professional or trade journals

Kinetics of hydrotreatment on Nb-Cu Catalysts

Natalia Semagina, Amir Rouhi

Scholarly Refereed Journal

Lithium Cation-promoted Two-electron Reduction of Tetranuclear Copper(I) Phosphoranimide Clusters. Stabilization of “Zero-valent Copper” Embedded in a Soluble Cu4Li2 Matrix

Jeffrey Mark Stryker, Robin Hamilton, Orain Alberga Brown

Scholarly Refereed Journal

Low-cost catalysts and methodology for partial upgrading of bitumen

Orain Alberga Brown

Conference/Symposium/Workshop Contribution

Model Asphaltene Compounds. A Synthetic Approach to Characterization of Asphaltene Structure and Aggregation

Jeffrey Mark Stryker, David Scott, Yaowei Guo, Mark Daniel Aloisio

Conference/Symposium/Workshop Contribution

Model Asphaltenes Adsorbed onto Methyl- and COOH -Terminated SAMs on Gold

Jeffrey Mark Stryker

Scholarly Refereed Journal

Nickel Nanocatalysts for Potassium Alkoxide-Mediated Hydrodesulfurization of Dibenzothiophene Under Mild Conditions

Jeffrey Mark Stryker, Robin Hamilton, Orain Alberga Brown

Scholarly Refereed Journal

Optimizing the Iodide/Iodonium/O2 Oxidation Cycle Enhances the Scope, Selectivity, and Yields of Hydroiodic Acid-Catalyzed Multicomponent Cyclocondensation Reactions

Jeffrey Mark Stryker, Orain Alberga Brown, Mark Daniel Aloisio

Scholarly Refereed Journal

Potassium Hydride-mediated Hydrodesulfurization Catalyzed by Cobalt

Asama Vorapattanapong (Leduc)

Doctoral Thesis/Dissertation

Potassium-aided processes for sulfur removal from bitumen

Natalia Semagina, Nikhil Melinamani

Report, brief, and other forms of grey literature

Regioselective Synthesis of Hydrazines and Heterocycles by Catalytic and Electrochemical N–N Bond Formation

Subrata Patra

Master Thesis

Selective Hydrogenation and Defunctionalization of Heavy Oil Model Compounds Using Unsupported Iron Cataly

Jeffrey Mark Stryker, William McCaffrey, Benjamin Antwi Peprah, Orain Alberga Brown

Scholarly Refereed Journal

Selective Hydrogenation and Defunctionalization of Heavy Oil Model Compounds Using an Unsupported Iron Catalyst. A New Strategy for Partial Upgrading

Jeffrey Mark Stryker, William McCaffrey, Benjamin Antwi Peprah, Orain Alberga Brown

Scholarly Refereed Journal

Synthetic Asphaltene Mixture Looks Like Real Asphaltene

Jeffrey Mark Stryker, Robin Hamilton, David Scott

Conference/Symposium/Workshop Contribution

 Electrocatalytic Up-Cycling of Asphaltenes 

Jeffrey Mark Stryker

Conference/Symposium/Workshop Contribution