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Coke yield and transport processes in agglomerates of bitumen and solids Open Access


Other title
thermal cracking
coke yield
mass transfer
heavy oil
heat transfer
fluid coking
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Ali, Mohamed Ali Hassan
Supervisor and department
Gray, Murray (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
McMillan, Jennifer (Syncrude Canada Ltd.)
Ben-Zvi, Amos (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
McCaffrey, William (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Fleck, Brian (Mechanical Engineering)
Mahinpey, Nader (Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary)
Gray, Murray (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Agglomerate formation is a common phenomenon that can cause operating problems in the fluid coking reactor. When agglomerates form they provide longer diffusion paths of the reaction products through the liquid layers and liquid bridges within the agglomerate, which leads to higher mass transfer resistance, trapping of the reaction products and increasing the undesired coke formation reactions. Surviving agglomerates in the reactor can also cause fouling of the reactor interior and defluidization of the bed. The ultimate coke yield was determined for agglomerates of Athabasca vacuum residue and solid particles by heating on Curie-point alloy strips in an induction furnace at 503 oC and 530 oC and in a fluidized bed reactor at 500 oC until all toluene-soluble material was converted. Coke yields from agglomerates were compared to the results from reacting thin films of vacuum residue. The average coke yield from the agglomerates was 23%, while the coke yield from thin films of 20 µm thickness was 11%, which supports the role of mass transfer in coke formation reactions. The ultimate coke yield was insensitive to vacuum residue concentration, agglomerate size, reaction temperature and agglomerate disintegration. The temperature profile within agglomerates was measured by implanting a thermocouple at the agglomerate center, and a heat transfer model was used to describe the temperature variation with time. The effective thermal diffusivity of the agglomerates was 0.20 x 10-6 m2/s. Control experiments on reactions in thin liquid films confirmed that heating rates in the range of 14.8 to 148 K/s had no effect on the ultimate yield of coke
License granted by Mohamed Ali ( on 2010-09-23T18:22:45Z (GMT): 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 the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein 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.
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