ESTIMATION OF KINETIC CONSTANTS FOR IN SITU ULTRA-DISPERSED CATALYTIC
UPGRADING OF BITUMEN IN A BATCH REACTOR
Hassan Hassanzadeh, Carmen E. Galarraga, Jalal Abedi, Carlos E. Scott, Zhangxing Chen, and
Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering,
University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4
Abstract: In situ catalytic upgrading of heavy oil and bitumen has been proposed and tested
in laboratory-scale experiments and experimental indications from these laboratory-scale
tests show potential for in situ upgrading of bitumen and heavy oil using an ultra-dispersed
catalyst. This novel technique may play an important role in the development of the huge
resources of heavy oil and bitumen in Alberta. In this paper, we present reaction constants
estimation for ultra-dispersed catalytic upgrading experiments conducted in a batch reactor.
The Monte Carlo simulation technique is used to find the most appropriate reaction
constants. Combination of an analytical batch reactor model and the Monte Carlo simulation
technique allow rapid generation of a large number of upgrading experiment realizations.
Large numbers of upgrading experiment realizations are used to estimate the kinetic
constants at different temperatures. Comparisons of analytical modelling results with the
experimental measurements of the upgrading experiments at different temperatures are in
close agreement. Accurate parameters estimation of the new upgrading process is essential in
order to correctly interpret experimental measurements, leading to a better understanding and
design of industrial-scale processes.
Keywords: in situ upgrading, ultra-dispersed catalyst, bitumen, heavy oil, parameter
estimation, inverse modelling
Current heavy oil and bitumen recovery techniques such as mining, cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) and steam
assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) are extremely intensive in their consumption of energy and water, which affec