Low-cost catalysts and methodologies for partial upgrading of bitumen

Low-cost catalysts and methodologies for partial upgrading of bitumen


In this collaborative program, the PI's address the fundamental chemistry and chemical engineering science to accomplish the partial upgrading of asphaltene-rich heavy petroleum, reducing both viscosity and density to meet or exceed pipeline specifications.  Our specific objectives are to develop asphaltene-selective catalytic chemical transformations of bitumen, inducing nanoaggregate asphaltene dissociation, armoatic hydrogenation, an partial hydrodesulfurization of the whole bitumen matrix.  To accomplish this, two key investigations can be disclosed:


(1) Asphaltene-selective catalytic hydrogenation/hydrogenolysis.  Unprecedented catalysts, designed for selective binding and reduction of  extended aromatic and heteroaromatic ring systems, are exploited for selective passivation of the functionality that drives asphaltene aggregation, transforming asphaltene aggregates into soluble naphthenic compounds.  Completely new strategies are also under investiagation, including hydrogen-free partial upgrading of bitumen at low temperature.   


(2) Directed chemical transformation/deaggregation of asphaltenes.  Asphaltene-selective chemical processing of bitumen is also under development.  Hydrogen-free electrocatalytic conversion of asphaltenes into desulfurized maltenes is a breakthrough discovery in bitumen science. 


In principal, asphaltene-selective upgrading of raw bitumen under mild conditionsraises the prospect of energy-efficient, small-footprint bitumen upgrading at the mine site, eliminating the need for capital-intensive investment, generating higher value products, and offering significant reductions in environmental exposure.

A Niobium Catalyst for Partial Upgrading

Natalia Semagina, Amir Rouhi

Conference/Workshop

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

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

Conference/Workshop

Electrifying Partial Upgrading

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

Conference/Workshop

Heterobimetallic catalysts for selective desulfurization and deoxygenation of aromatic residues

Orain Brown

Conference/Workshop

Hydrotreating behavior of niobium catalyst

Natalia Semagina, Amir Rouhi

Conference/Workshop

Low-cost catalysts and methodology for partial upgrading of bitumen

Orain Brown

Conference/Workshop

Synthetic Asphaltene Mixture Looks Like Real Asphaltene

Jeffrey Stryker, Robin Hamilton, David Scott

Conference/Workshop

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

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

Scholarly Refereed Journal

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

Jeffrey Stryker, David Scott

Scholarly Refereed Journal

Deciphering the Asphaltenes: Hypothesis-driven Design and Development of Synthetic Model Compounds

Jeffrey 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

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

Orain Brown

PhD Thesis

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

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

Scholarly Refereed Journal

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 Stryker, Robin Hamilton, Orain Brown

Scholarly Refereed Journal

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

Jeffrey Stryker, David Scott, Yaowei Guo, Mark Aloisio

Invited/Keynote

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

Jeffrey Stryker, Robin Hamilton, Orain Brown

Scholarly Refereed Journal

Potassium Hydride-mediated Hydrodesulfurization Catalyzed by Cobalt

Asama Vorapattanapong (Leduc)

PhD Thesis

Potassium-aided processes for sulfur removal from bitumen

Nikhil Melinamani

Report, brief, and other forms of grey literature

Potassium-aided processes for sulfur removal from bitumen

Research Report

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

Subrata Patra

Masters Thesis

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

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

Scholarly Refereed Journal