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Journal of Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology

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Implementation of Spinels (NiAl2O4, CoAl2O4 and Ni-Co2O4) as Emerging Catalysts for Upgrading of Extra Heavy Oil Including Hydrogen Production under Supercritical Water Conditions

Author(s): Djimasbe Richard

Spinel types catalysts were synthesized and employed in this work in order to consider its upgrading performance for extra heavy oil from the Taha oilfield (China) to produce light oil and mainly for gases production (methane and hydrogen). The results of synthesis and that of XRD patterns and SEM showed that the following spinel types denoted CoAl2O4 (2); NiAl2O4(3); and Ni-Co2O4 (4) with an average particle size around 59.13 nm, and the Ni and Co composition in catalysts is 9.29% and 4.68%, respectively. The results of the product distribution showed smaller yield of upgraded oil of 58.83 % and higher yield of coke of 33.64 % were obtained using only the supercritical water (SCW). However, using catalysts CoAl2O4 and NiAl2O4, the upgraded oil yields reach 63.34% and 61.07%, respectively. Therefore, the use of alloys of metals (Ni and Co) in form of spinel Ni-Co2O4, a higher yield of 67.26 % of upgraded oil was obtained with smaller yield of coke of 22%, while the greater yields 13.00% of gases is obtained in the sample (3). The viscosity of crude oil of 230000 Pa*s at 60 oC decreased to the smaller value of 54.8 mPa*s at 25 oC. So, high conversion of asphaltenes was also observed in the sample (4), hence the decreased from 39.04 % to 1.79%. Additionally, 8.07% of hydrogen and 43.61% of methane were obtained in the gaseous product. Therefore, the alloys of Ni-Co2O4 catalyst with high synergetic performances demonstrate its possible use for hydrogen and methane production on the industry's scale.

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