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Production of bitumen in Canada has increased considerably in the last decade. Due to its heavy nature, bitumen needs upgrading in order to make it marketable. The first approach adopted was to fully upgrade it to high quality synthetic crude oil, but due to the enormous capital and operating costs, it has been proven that it was not the most economically suitable approach. Partial upgrading, where bitumen is upgraded into a transportable oil that meets pipeline specifications, has the potential to maximize the benefits of bitumen commercialization. However, there is still technical aspects that need to be investigated in detail before proceeding to the engineering design of a pilot test. For example, lack of information regarding kinetic modeling of deasphalted oil thermal cracking or unconventional alternatives for reduction of olefins. This Postdoctoral research aims to provide answers to those aspects through the detailed acquisition of experimental information in the area of solvent deasphalting, thermal cracking and olefins reduction. In addition, it would provide tools for decision-making and directing the next stage of the technology, as well as filling up a knowledge gap in the area of crude oil upgrading. TO BE CONT’D
Arno de Klerk
Fredy Cabrales Navarro
Engineering - chemical / biological
Oil and gas
University of Alberta
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