Bitumen is known as a mixture of organic liquids which has great importance to the chemical industry because of its great variety of special properties, which has favored the development of a wide field of applications. Bitumen has been mainly obtained as a residue of the petroleum refining process. Recently, the development of a process has been proposed to recover chemical resources from bitumen that can accomplish the destruction of the bitumen to produce harmless but useful compounds. Water at hydrothermal conditions is considered a promising and an environmentally acceptable solvent for a wide variety of chemical reactions such as organic syntheses and decomposition of hazardous waste into harmless compounds. In these works, water at supercritical conditions was applied as a solvent for upgrading of bitumen. The experiments were conducted at a temperature of 673 K and at various reaction pressures. The effect of pressure and reaction time on the decomposition process is presented. The chemical species in the aqueous products were analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectroscopy. Ultimate analysis of solid residue was also conducted using a CHN analyzer. The results showed that the amounts of bitumen-derived compounds formed increased with increasing reaction time. In addition, the study of bitumen model compounds by using a batch reactor was also conducted. Furthermore, this method could become an efficient method for upgrading bitumen into harmless compounds with a high yield of valuable chemical intermediates on the basis of the experimental results.
Research on Chemical Intermediates – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 4, 2011
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