Derakhshan Deilami, Sam (2020). Advanced studies of catalytic upgrading of heavy oil & bio-oil. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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## Abstract

Heavy oil and bio oil both have undesirable characteristics which makes them uneconomical to be used as a refinery feed stock. Therefore upgrading process is required to enhance their quality. Platinum group metals (PGM) are known for their high hydrogenation activity, and low coke formation in oil upgrading compares to other metal groups. However, it is significantly uneconomical to use virgin noble metals for oil upgrading processes. Since the introduction of autocatalysts in Europe in the 1980s there has been a clear link between their use and increasing concentrations of platinum group metals (PGMs) in the environment resulting in enhanced levels of these elements occurring in road dust and soils, particularly in urban areas and around major roads. Recent studies have shown development in technologies to recover these metals and produce a metal-rich concentrate that can either be smelted to recover the PGMs or leached into solution and used to produce new biological-based catalysts. The main purpose of this research is to compare the performance of bio-catalyst with commercial homogeneous catalyst in the application of heavy oil and bio oil upgrading. The results of the simulated distillation column (Sim-Dis), viscosity reduction, asphaltene, sulfur, and metals content after upgrading showed that the alternative bio-Pd nanoparticles have the potential of achieving a similar level of upgrading as obtainable with typical hydrodesulfurization (HDS) catalyst particles such as Pd supported on carbon and alumina, respectively. However, due to relatively high sulfur content of heavy oil, this catalyst experienced very fast deactivation. Additionally, less coke formation and slightly higher improvement of produced oil were observed in the case of lower Pd loading of the cell. The performance of bio-Pd in upgrading of bio-oil which is naturally low in sulfur in terms of Degree of Deoxygenation (DOD) at lower Hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) temperature (170 - 210 $$^o$$C) was identical to the commercial catalyst, while at higher HDO temperature above 250 $$^o$$C, bio-Pd performance in removing oxygen was decreased significantly because of decomposition of biomass support at higher reaction temperature.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Supervisor(s):
Supervisor(s)EmailORCID
Joe, WoodUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Zhang, ZhenyuUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED