Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


The aim of this project was to develop an extraction process for the conversion of heavy crude oils and petroleum processing residues using supercritical water vapour, in order to increase the yield of low-boiling valuable products. The investigations revealed that supercritical water, even without the addition of hydrogenating gases and/or catalysts, is able to convert a major proportion of the asphaltenes into oil-like products. The high temperatures involved, however, lead to the formation of secondary asphaltenes from the low-molecular compounds. A two-stage process was therefore developed and investigated in which the low-molecular compounds are separated by extraction, using a supercritical n-butane/isobutane mixture, and the asphaltene-like residue is subsequently extracted, using supercritical water. The profitability evaluation performed shows that water extraction offers no significant advantages, either on its own or in combination with butane extraction. On the other hand, if petroleum prices were to rise significantly, extraction using supercritical butane could assume major economic significance as it offers much higher extraction yields than conventional vacuum distillation.

Additional information

Authors: BEN-NASR H, Krupp Forschungsinstitut, Essen (DE);KRIEGEL E, Krupp Forschungsinstitut, Essen (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 13163 EN (1990) 127 pp., MF, ECU 8
Availability: (2)
Record Number: 199011852 / Last updated on: 1994-12-02
Original language: en
Available languages: en