ISSN 1070-4272, Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2016, Vol. 89, No. 11, pp. 1853−1860. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2016.
Methanol Enhanced Catalytic Viscosity-reduction
of Heavy Oil by Transition Metal-Mannich Base Complex
under Low Temperature
*, Weihua Yuan
, Huijun Su
, Jie Zhang
, Yun Bai
, and Ayodeji Jeje
College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xi’an Shiyou University,
Xi’an Shaanxi 710065, China
Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary,
Calgary Alberta T2N1N4, Canada
e-mail: *firstname.lastname@example.org; **email@example.com
Received April 14, 2016
Abstract—A series of transition metal-Mannich base complex was synthesized and screened for catalytic aqua-
thermolysis of heavy oil and the results showed that the Ni(II)-Mannich base complex is the most effective one.
The structure of catalyst was characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), ultraviolet and visible spectro-
photometer (UV), and the group compositions C/H/N elemental analysis (EL), and thermogravimetric analysis
(TGA) of the heavy oil were also conducted. The viscosity of the heavy oil can be decreased by 82.6% using
1.0 wt % catalyst with 15 wt % methanol in a reaction under 180°С for 24 h, and the composition analysis shows
that 9.0% asphaltene is converted to resin and saturated HC. The group composition and the element content of
the heavy oil before and after the aquathermolysis reaction were tested and analyzed.
The text was submitted by the authors in English.
With increasing demands for energy resources
and a serious shortage of conventional hydrocarbon
resources, heavy oil represents a critically important
hydrocarbon reserve . Nowadays, abundant heavy oil
resources have attracted worldwide attention for solving
the problem . However, high viscosity and density
of heavy oil often cause difﬁ culties in its exploiting.
Thus many methods have been developed and adopted
for enhancing oil recovery (EOR), such as thermal
recovery, chemical recovery, microbial recovery, etc.
Among which, the catalytic aquathermolysis method
is one of the most ex tensive and effective technology
for heavy oil exploitation with great potential .
The chemical interactions between steam, heavy oil,
and minerals were described as “aquathermolysis” by
Hyne and Greidanus’s research . In this technology,
aquathermolysis of heavy oil occurs in the oil layer
when superheated steam is injected, which can not only
reduce the viscosity of heavy oil, but also the quality can
be upgraded slightly [5–7]. However, further research
results show that these positive changes can rapidly
regress since the heteroatoms S, N, and O in the heavy
oil molecule can interact with other groups by hydrogen
bonding or Va n der Waals forces, and polymerize to
form larger molecules, thus leading to the rapid viscosity
Combining steam stimulation with a chemical re-
covery technique, catalytic aquathermolysis has been
developed as a new exploitation technology of heavy
oil with great potential . With the energy and power,
provided by the superheated steam, the catalyst can ac-
celerate the pyrolysis reactions and remove some het-
eroatoms of heavy oil, leading to the further improve-