Direct Olefin Reduction

Olefins are unsaturated hydrocarbon molecules that are commonly formed as by-products during the fluid catalytic cracking of heavy crude oils. The presence of olefins in upgraded oil feedstocks is highly undesirable as their intrinsic instability means that decomposition is facile and results in the formation of a variety of unwanted compounds that devalue the upgraded oils and impede its pipeline transportation and long term storage. Furthermore, the presence of olefins has been strongly linked to the sulfur content of crude and refined oils. Sulfur containing compounds must be removed during the oil upgrading process as the formation of harmful sulfur containing pollutants may promote downstream e.g. SOx gas emissions from gasoline oil. Olefins in the feedstock may be transformed into more valuable products such as aromatics and paraffins via reaction with Hydrogen gas at high temperatures over an appropriate heterogeneous catalyst. Hydrogen gas is however, costly due to its natural unavailability. It is instead formed by reacting methane obtained from natural gas with steam under very high temperatures. This research project aims to develop an effective catalyst that can bypass the use of hydrogen gas and instead, utilize methane directly to transform olefins into more valuable products…

Faculty Supervisor:

Hua Song


Jonathan Harrhy


MEG Energy Corporation


Engineering - chemical / biological


Oil and gas




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