RADIATION-INDUCED OXIDATION DEGRADATION FOR HEAVY CRUDE OIL PROCESSING
Al-Sheikhly, Mohamad Al-Sheikhly
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The objective of this thesis work is to enhance the quality (increase the gravity) of the nonconventional heavy crude oil by using ionization irradiation energy. However, irradiation process could be further complicated when dealing with a nonhomogeneous mixture of hydrocarbons. Therefore, radiation chemistry of a single hydrocarbon, such as polyethylene, can be used to simulate the degradation reactions that are mainly occur due to the C-C and C-H bonds cleavage of the hydrocarbons in the crude oil. This enhancement could be reached by using an inexpensive irradiation treatment through operating electron beam accelerators and gamma-ray sources at low temperatures and suitable dose rate. In addition, the effects of oxygen on the main chain scission were investigated by bubbling the heavy crude oil with air while irradiation. The results showed that irradiating at high oxygen concentration and low dose rate, heavy crude oil viscosity and average molecular weight can be reduced.