Resource Efficient Technologies for High-Octane Gasoline Production Developed at TPU

Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University have developed technologies for gas condensate and associated petroleum gas (APG) utilization and processing in a high-quality gasoline and other valuable products. Using nanotechnology, polytechnicers have found a way not only to solve a relevant issue of APG utilization for the oil and gas industry, but also significantly reduce the cost of gasoline production, which will allow more economical use of oil reserves in the future.

“If petroleum contains straight-run gasoline fraction more than 10 - 15%, gas condensate has 80% or more. For example, if you want to get 10 thousand tons of high-octane (ed -. of high quality) gasoline, you will need to process about 100,000 tons of oil. While to produce the same production volume you will require about 15 thousand tons of gas condensate, which can significantly save on raw materials,”

- says Professor Vladimir Erofeev, head of the TPU laboratory “Processing of hydrocarbon raw material using nanotechnology”, doctor of technical sciences, professor, academician of RAE and the RF Worker of Science.

In addition, not all types of oil contain a large number of straight-run gasoline fractions that are suitable for high-grade gasoline Euro 5 and Euro 6. Meanwhile, gas condensate contains mainly fraction suitable for the production of high quality gasoline. However, gas condensate and associated gas are substantially more difficult to process than oil. The fact that the molecules of methane and ethane, included in their composition, are chemically inert - practically do not interact with other molecules. Consequently, the associated gas and gas condensate are difficult to convert into something.

“In most cases, due to the lack of appropriate infrastructure associated gas is burned in many oil fields and refineries for commercial purposes,” - said Vladimir Yerofeyev.

Scientists laboratory "processing of hydrocarbon raw material using nanotechnology" found a way to solve this problem by using nanostructured modified zeolite catalysts, enabling to process gas condensate and associated gas in various valuable products.

“An important feature of our catalysts (as opposed to the existing industrial metal, oxide and others) is that they have high-regular microporous structure. One such pore diameter is 6 - 8 Angstroms (1 × 10 -8 m). By size, they are comparable with such “small” molecules as ethane, propane, butane, and others contained in the associated gas and gas condensate. Within each micropore there are located superacid centers. Getting in the “narrow” micropores, the most chemically inert molecules of organic compounds are isolated and exposed by superacid centers acquire increased mobility and reactivity, which allows much easier and at a lower energy cost exposing them to a variety of chemical transformations forming with them a variety of valuable products,” - the scientist explains.

Gas condensate and associated gas are processing using such catalysts at a special catalytic unit. Proceeding in the reactor unit condensate or APG gaseous naphtha fraction C2-C4 is first heated to a certain temperature, and then reacted with the catalysts (zeolites) and the modifiers (oxide systems).

As a result of all these complex chemical processes, the scientists receive lower olefins, arenas or highly high-octane class petrol Euro 5 and Euro 6.

Such units are fully automated and are mobile, they can be used directly on the fields. For example, such a unit for gas condensate processing into high-octane gasoline, made by Tomskneftegazpererabotka, an affiliate of JSC Vostokgazprom, based on the Tomsk Polytechnic University’s technology, was used on Myldzhinskoye field (a gas processing plant in Bondarko village, the Kargasoksky district of the Tomsk region).



TPU Professor Vladimir Erofeev is the author of over 350 scientific papers and 40 patents. Under his leadership the laboratory “Processing of hydrocarbon raw material using nanotechnology” conducts research and develops new processes and technologies of highly liquid motor fuels, as well as lower olefins, aromatics (valuable components for many petrochemical processes) from various types of hydrocarbons: oil , gas condensate and associated gas. Vladimir Erofeev’s research team has also developed a technology to produce cold-resistant high-octane gasoline and diesel fuel, which are capable of withstanding temperatures up to -80 C °, which can be used in extremely cold conditions. For example, in the Arctic and Antarctica.