Exploratory Chemistry and Catalysis

In order to create greater efficiencies in the physical and chemical processes during upgrading, it is very important to study and understand the chemical transformation of hydrocarbon molecules involved in catalysis. CanmetENERGY scientists, in collaboration with external partners, are working together to develop breakthrough catalytic processes for bitumen upgrading and bitumen derived distillates in order to:

  • improve the product quality and reduce environmental impact
  • improve the energy efficiency of the existing upgrading processes

Current research projects being undertaken at the National Centre for Upgrading Technology (NCUT) and its partner organizations include:

  • design sulfur resistant hydrogenation components
  • selective-ring opening via hydrocracking and partial oxidation
  • novel catalytic process for removal of napthenic acid from bitumen
  • study the poisoning effect of organic nitrogen compounds to the cracking catalysts
  • quantum chemistry modeling to support catalyst development and to understand the catalytic reaction path
  • seeking novel catalysts and processes for heavy oil and residue conversion
  • selective ring opening via Upgrading Catalyst Development Network
  • electron microscopy study of novel catalytic materials with the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NIN)
  • quantum chemical analysis of ring opening reactions with NIN

Managed by CanmetENERGY at the Devon (Alberta) research centre.