International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.44, No.51, 27671-27684, 2019
Thermodynamic analysis of in-situ hydrogen from hot compressed water for heavy oil upgrading
Due to many benefits of heavy oil upgrading in the green medium of hot compressed water (HCW), the present study considers the thermodynamic analysis of in-situ hydrogen created by partial oxidation of light hydrocarbons (HC) in HCW. The aim is seeking the upgrading condition where light hydrocarbons create hydrogen (H-2) and carbon monoxide (CO) assisted by partial oxidation of light hydrocarbons. The formed CO collaborates in insitu active hydrogen through water gas shift reaction (CO+H2O <-> H-2+CO2) which is more effective than external hydrogen for hydrogenation of heavy oil in HCW. Applying the powerful capability of Aspen Plus (R), i.e., sensitivity analysis, the effect of significant parameters, such as temperature, pressure (water density), water to oil ratio, and oxygen (O-2) to oil ratio are studied comprehensively in order to maximize the amount of active hydrogen. The results indicate that higher temperatures and the amount of water (H2O/heavy oil) are two favorable factors to increase the contribution of active hydrogen, while the pressure is not a determinant factor at supercritical condition (P >= 25 MPa). The formation of methane is also decreased at high temperature which is desired for upgrading system. The higher amount of water implies more quantity of O-2 since partial oxidation affords the enthalpy of auto-thermal reforming of HO. Hence there should be a compromise in the selected ratios of H2O/HC and O-2/HC in HCW upgrading system. A set of experiments are conducted in order to compare the simulation and experimental results. Although the experimental results are established on kinetic data which also reflect the physical effect of HCW during HO upgrading, however, the thermodynamic study provides valued information, in agreement with experiments, that improves our understanding of HO upgrading in HCW with less coke. (C) 2019 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.