Institute for Oil Sands Innovation (IOSI)

Electrocatalytic Hydrogenation of Bitumen Distillate Fractions

The use of hydrogen at high pressure and elevated temperatures to stabilize unrefined crude oil products represents a significant cost to oil sands processors. Where natural gas is required, there are also carbon emission implications.

With this project, we are working towards a more cost-effective electrocatalytic method of stabilizing products such as gas oils, kerosene and naptha before they go for further upgrading. We could also improve the way chemical impurities such as sulfur and nitrogen are removed from the crude oil products. Our aim is to determine if electrocatalytic upgrading, at low pressures and without need for natural gas, might offer cost savings while still yielding a quality low-sulfur product.

Principal Investigator: David Mitlin
Project Team: Murray Gray, Sean Murphy, Chris Holt, Kavithaa Loganathan

Project Number: COSI 2007-05
Close Date: March 31, 2010

David Mitlin
University of Alberta