Transformation of Petroleum Asphaltenes in Supercritical Water
The Journal of Supercritical Fluids
, E-ISSN: 1872-8162
||Asphaltenes, Cracking, Dealkylation, Supercritical water
Boreskov Institute of Catalysis SB RAS
Novosibirsk State University
The transformation of petroleum asphaltenes in supercritical water was studied. The experiments were performed in autoclave at temperature 380 °C and pressure 226 atm with stirring for 3 h, medium density was about 0.33 g/cm3. The reaction resulted in the formation of gas products, about 4.3%, and an insoluble residue (coke) with about 48.6% yield. The remaining products were separated into fractions by consecutive dissolution in hexane (30.0%), benzene (10.6%), and chloroform (5.7%). The properties of the obtained products were studied with FT-IR spectrometry and 1H NMR spectroscopy. The method of simulated distillation was used to demonstrate that the fractional composition of the hexane-soluble part of the products is close to the fractional composition of a mixture of the diesel fraction and vacuum gas oil of the corresponding oil in 1:1 ratio. The obtained data support the conclusion that asphaltene cracking proceeds in SCW, with most probable main processes being dealkylation of substituents in the aromatic fragments of molecules and aromatization. This leads to formation of gaseous products and hexane-soluble fraction consisting of lighter aliphatic and aromatic compounds, as well as carbonized solid residue.