Download the full-sized PDF of High Temperature Thermal Cracking of Heavy OilsDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

High Temperature Thermal Cracking of Heavy Oils Open Access


Other title
heavy oils
thermal cracking
high temperature
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Supervisor and department
Gray,Murray ( Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering )
McCaffrey,William ( Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering )
Examining committee member and department
Lange, Carlos ( Department of Mechanical Engineering )
Wanke, Sieghard ( Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering )
Chaouki,Jamal ( Department of Chemical Engineering, Polytechnique Montreal )
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Thermal cracking of the vacuum residue fraction of bitumen and petroleum is an important feature of several refinery processes. At normal process temperatures, this fraction remains liquid, which favors coke formation. In order to understand the reaction yields and intrinsic reaction kinetics of this important material at temperatures above 600°C, innovative reactor designs and techniques were developed. First, a microstructured mixer was used to rapidly heat reactants to nearly constant reaction temperatures in a few milliseconds. The reactor was tested by studying of the rate of the thermal cracking of n-hexadecane temperatures ranging from 600 to 750°C, at atmospheric pressure, and mean residence time of 110 to 170 milliseconds. The apparent activation energy and pre-exponential factor for the over all first order reaction was calculated as 235 kJ/mol and 1.1×1013 s-1 respectively, consistent with the majority of previous studies in the literature. In order to minimize the role of the liquid phase in cracking of vacuum residue, an aerosol reactor was designed and constructed. Thermal cracking of Athabasca vacuum residue was studied at temperatures of 700 to 800°C at atmospheric pressure and residence time of 100 to 115 milliseconds. The feed was introduced as submicron droplets into the reactor. Alkenes were the dominant components among the gas products, with total yield of ethene and propene ranging from 5 to 18 wt %.The yield of coke was 6.3 wt% on average, and was insensitive to conversion of the vacuum residue. Both these observations were consistent with the predominance of vapour-phase reactions. , The molar ratio of hydrogen to carbon decreased monotonically with conversion from 1.4 for unconverted feed to 0.98 at 78% conversion, consistent with high yields of hydrogen-rich gas products.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 8344446
Last modified: 2015:10:12 15:37:35-06:00
Filename: Vafi_Kourosh_Fall 2012.pdf
Original checksum: 126835101749aaec1533aeac53e5f265
Well formed: true
Valid: true
Status message: Too many fonts to report; some fonts omitted. Total fonts = 1073
File title: Microsoft Word - Vafi_Kourosh_Fall 2012.doc
File author: Kourosh
Page count: 337
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date