—The world reserves of conventional lighter oils are dwindling and being replaced by an increasing amount of heavy oils. High amount of heavy components such as asphaltene (AS) and coke in the crude oil nowadays makes it heavier. Heavy oil contains high amount of AS having less valuable in the refining process compares to the lighter oil that contains lighter component which is known as maltene (MA). Apparently, the traditional upgrading process of heavy oil which are coking, vis-breaking and solvent de-asphalthing have low efficiency and have high operation cost. This paper aims to extract MA, AS and coke from Saudi Arabian heavy oil under the standard room condition and to investigate the AS under subcritical water treatment process. The subcritical water experiments were conducted in an open breaker at a temperature of 100oC, a pressure of 1 atm. and reaction times of 0-90 min. Experimental results revealed that the Saudi Arabian heavy oil contained 77.43 wt.% of MA, 16.93 wt.% of AS and 5.64 wt.% of coke. After the subcritical water treatment, the amount of MA was increasing with increasing reaction time and the amount of AS and coke were decreasing with increasing reaction time. Approximately 86.11% of MA was obtained at a temperature of 100oC and a reaction time of 90 min. The subcritical water treatment was found to be potential to convert the heavy oil into the lighter oil.
—Asphaltene, coke, crude oil, heavy oil, maltene, and subcritical water.
Pradip Chandra Mandal is with the Department of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 31750 Tronoh, Perak, Malaysia (e-mail: pradip.mandal@ petronas.com.my).
Mohamad Azmi Bin Alias was with the Department of Petroleum Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 31750 Tronoh, Perak, Malaysia (e-mail: email@example.com).
Cite: Pradip Chandra Mandal and Mohamad Azmi Bin Alias, "Investigation of Asphaltene under Subcritical Water Treatment," International Journal of Materials, Mechanics and Manufacturing vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 11-15, 2017.