IN SITU GENERATED DISPERSED SUBMICRON NI-CO-MO-BASED CATALYST FOR THE UPGRADING OF HEAVY CRUDE OIL
A batch-reactor study for the upgrading of the heavy oil was conducted using an in-situ prepared,
dispersed submicron trimetallic catalyst based on nickel, cobalt and molybdenum in the presence of
hydrogen. Response surface methodology was used to design the experiments. The influence of reaction
temperature, time and catalyst amount on the upgrading of the heavy oil was investigated. The results
showed significant upgrading of the oil in terms of viscosity reduction (95%), API gravity increase (45%),
sulfur removal (27wt %) and coke formed (0.05wt%) at temperature; 340oC, time; 28hours, catalyst
amount; 2500ppm. Reaction temperature proved to be the most influential with highest impact of all the
reaction parameters investigated. Further characterization of liquid and gaseous products from selected
experimental runs showed catalytic hydrocracking playing a significant role in the upgrading process.
XRD and SEM-EDS analyses of solid recovered confirmed the in-situ generation of submicron catalyst
based on nickel, cobalt and molybdenum.