Upgrading of heavy and high-contaminant Hydrofaction™ Renewable Crude Oil, to transport fuel blendstock.

The Project’s objective is to continue the upgrading work executed in the previous MITACS Converge project with a larger focus on more challenging biocrude oils such as heavy fractions, high viscosity, high nitrogen, high ash oils that are produced from feedstocks such as “feed gate residues” in the form of manures, biosludges and organics from municipal waste. The performance objective remains to optimize and scale up the upgrading of Hydrofaction™ Oil to blendstocks for transport fuels. The main challenge in upgrading Hydrofaction™ renewable crude Oil from such sources is not only the oxygen content of the oil but also the high viscosity, sulfur, and inorganic contaminants. Hydrotreating is the pathway of choice for removing this oxygen and contaminants through hydrodeoxygenation (HDO), decarboxylation and hydrodenitrogenation (HDN) reactions. The upgraded oil should achieve low Total Acid Number (TAN), low oxygen, low nitrogen, low minerals content and an improved distillation profile. Ultimately, upgraded oil fractions should be as close as possible to diesel and other transportation fuel standards.

Faculty Supervisor:

William McCaffrey


Anderson Montanez Rincon, Parsa Haghighat


Steeper Energy Canada




Alternative energy


University of Alberta



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