Adsorptive removal of visbroken n-C5 asphaltenes from heavy oil by silica-based nanoparticles
Publication Type
Conference Paper

The demand of energy is increasing globally due to the explosive growth of population and industrialization. Hence, unconventional oil, like bitumen and heavy oil, is becoming one of the major future energy sources. In this context, heavy oil and bitumen, are gaining high popularity. One of the main components of bitumen are the polar heavy hydrocarbons. Polar heavy hydrocarbons, particularly asphaltenes, are problematic due to their high molecular weight, viscosity and specific gravity. The current processes employed for removing asphaltenes from bitumen matrices are complicated, costly and environmentally unfriendly. All these problems together mandate intensive researches to embark on a new era of asphaltene removal. Nanoparticles (NPs) have exceptional properties such as high surface area to volume ratio and active surface functionality. These properties enhance the adsorptive and catalytic behaviour of NPs for enhancing heavy oil upgrading. This work aims at developing and modifying silicate NPs for removal of n-C5 visbroken asphaltene from heavy oil during the thermal cracking process. Iron-silicate NPs were successfully prepared with different crystalline domain sizes in the range of 1-100 nm. The prepared NPs have been successfully tested, for the first time, for asphaltene adsorptive removal. The effects of particle size, surface functionality and chemical structure will be investigated and discussed.

Conference Title
65th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference (CSChE)
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Conference Date
Oct. 4, 2015 - Oct. 7, 2015
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