Coprocessing of Biomass and Heavy Oils (Bio-Economy and Clean Technologies)

Pyrolysis uses high temperatures, in the absence of oxygen, to crack long and complex molecures into smaller molecules.  It has been successfully and separately applied to both (a) heavy oils, to produce lighter liquid fractions and solid coke byproduct in conventional oil refineries, and to (b) biomass, to convert solid residues into liquid bio-oils.  Pyrolytic cracking generates highly reactive radical fragments, which then recombine into different chemical species.  The proposed research consists in the development of a new technology for the simultaneous co-processing of biomass and heavy oils in the same reaction vessel, leading to the upstream integration of renewable resources into conventional petroleum streams.  This research will be conducted at the Institute for Chemicals and Fuels for Alternative Resources under the supervision of Professor Franco Berruti and Professor Cedric Briens and in partnership with Imperial Oil Limited and the Ontario Centres of Excellence.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Franco Berruti


Ran Xu


Imperial Oil Ltd.


Engineering - chemical / biological


Oil and gas


Western University



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