Catalytic cracking and upgrading of oilsands bitumen using natural calcium chabazite

  • Author / Creator
    Christopher, Street
  • The growing interest in the oilsands bitumen reserves, a large portion of which is unattainable by current industrial processes, has generated a need for an improved process for oilsands extracting and upgrading. The effects of using chabazite as a catalyst for cracking and upgrading of oilsands bitumen were studied. At 300 °C and 5 % catalyst loading the yield of the desirable middle fractions was maximized while avoiding overcracking that produces gas and coke. The natural zeolite also upgraded the bitumen as it was being cracked and greatly reduced the amount of water used. An energy balance comparison between the current industrial method and our proposed process, and tests on pre-extracted bitumen, show that a zeolite based upgrading process is more energy efficient. The reported method has great potential for improving the in situ extraction methods, reducing their startup time and upgrading the bitumen while it is being extracted.

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  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
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    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.