loading page

Inference of Reaction Kinetics for Supercritical Water Heavy Oil Upgrading with a Two-phase Stirred Reactor Model
  • Ashwin Raghavan,
  • Ping He,
  • Ahmed Ghoniem
Ashwin Raghavan
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Ping He
Lamar University
Author Profile
Ahmed Ghoniem
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Author Profile


We present the development and application of a two-phase stirred reactor model for heavy oil upgrading in the presence of supercritical water (SCW), with coupled phase-specific thermolysis reaction kinetics and multicomponent hydrocarbon water phase equilibrium. We demonstrate the inference of oil and water phase kinetics parameters for a compact lumped reaction kinetics model through the application of this model to two different sets of batch reactor experiments reported in the literature. We infer that, though SCW can suppress the formation of newer polynuclear aromatics (PNA) from distillate range species, it is broadly ineffective in deterring the combination of pre-existing PNA fragments in the oil feed. Quantification of the conversion to distillate liquids before the onset of coke formation helps arrive at a clearer conclusion on whether the use of SCW in the batch reactor leads to better product outcomes for different oil feeds and operating conditions.
11 Jan 2021Submitted to AIChE Journal
03 Mar 2021Submission Checks Completed
03 Mar 2021Assigned to Editor
16 Mar 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
04 May 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Major
03 Aug 20211st Revision Received
07 Aug 2021Submission Checks Completed
07 Aug 2021Assigned to Editor
09 Aug 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
22 Sep 2021Editorial Decision: Accept
Feb 2022Published in AIChE Journal volume 68 issue 2. 10.1002/aic.17488