Monday, July 26, 2010
No. 113: Catalyst to change extra heavy oil to standard oil resource (July 26, 2010)
A professor of Hokkaido University and his research team developed a catalyst that changes extra heavy oil contained in oil sand to standard oil resource. The newly-developed catalyst is made by burning and solidifying such oxidative products as iron, aluminum, and zirconium. When the catalyst is mixed with extra heavy oil and supercritical water that is 420 degrees centigrade at 220 atmospheric pressures, water was dissolved into hydrogen and oxygen. The catalyst facilitated the dissolution of extra heavy oil and produced oil with less viscosity that contains gasoline and light oil. The technology is not high in cost because the catalyst is mainly made of iron and because it is not necessary to add hydrogen. In the experiment, the team successfully changed 60-70% of super heavy oil to products made of gasoline and light oil. The professor plans to put this technology into practical use in less than 20 years.