The project “Creating Value from Asphaltenes” was launched in January 2012. New technologies are required to directly transform asphaltenes into high economic value products such as transportation fuels or petrochemicals while reducing the environmental impact of current approaches. Open innovation methodologies will be used to explore and find innovative technologies. One of the expected outcomes of this project is a list of high value technology projects that could be structured, funded, and executed, resulting in opportunities to implement and commercialize new breakthrough technologies.
The objective of this project is to evaluate new technologies to directly convert asphaltenes into refined petroleum and petrochemical products. “Outside the box” approaches will be pursued by inviting potential solutions from experts and companies outside of the petroleum industry. Traditional approaches may also be supported; examples include the adaptation to the processing of asphaltenes of slurry (dispersed catalyst) upgrading processes (e.g. CanmetEnergy/UOP process), selective contaminant removal (removing the “bad” asphaltenes”) and new chemistry for oxidizing asphaltenes. This project seeks to identify Alberta-based value-added pathways for bitumen.