Catalytic steam cracking of heavy crude oil with molybdenum and nickel nanodispersed catalysts
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The catalytic steam cracking (CSC) of heavy crude oil with high amount of sulfur (4.3 wt %) and high-boiling fractions (>500°C) is studied using Mo and Ni nanodispersed catalysts under static conditions (in an autoclave) at 425°C. Experiments on thermal cracking, steam cracking, and catalytic cracking without water are performed to compare and identify the features of CSC. The relationship between the composition and properties of liquid and gaseous products and process conditions, the type of catalyst, and water is studied. Using Ni catalyst in CSC raises the H: C ratio (1.69) in liquid products, compared to other types of cracking, but also increases the yield of coke and gaseous products, so the yield of liquid products falls. When Mo catalyst is used in CSC, low-viscosity semi-synthetic oil with a higher H: C ratio (1.70) and the lowest amount of sulfur in liquid products (2.8 wt %) is produced. XRF and HRTEM studies of the catalyst-containing solid residue (coke) show that under CSC conditions, nickel is present in the form of well-crystallized nanoparticles of Ni9S8 15–40 nm in size, while molybdenum exists in two phases: MoO2 and MoS2, the ratio between which depends on the conditions of the transformation of heavy crude oil. The findings indicate that CSC is a promising process for improving heavy crude oil.
Keywordscatalytic steam cracking nickel molybdenum dispersed catalyst heavy crude oil
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