Verification of Heavy Oil Hydrocracking Process CommencesJul. 5, 2001

Toyo Engineering Corporation (TEC, President Toshihiko Hirose) has been engaged in the development of a proprietary heavy oil hydrocracking process (HTC: Hydrogen Transfer Cracking), and recently reached to an agreement with IMP (Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo), a state-run organization affiliated with PEMEX (Petroleos Mexicanos - the state petroleum company of Mexico) to implement evaluation of catalysts on a joint basis with the aim of bringing this process onto a commercial footing as soon as possible.

The Maya crude oil extracted in Mexico contains impurities such as sulfur, nitrogen and heavy metals (nickel and vanadium). However, conventional hydrocracking technology faces extensive deterioration of catalyst activity, and the economic viability of the process is poor. TEC has now come up with superior technology to upgrade heavy oils, and is able to make a highly durable and inexpensive catalyst by impregnating iron on active carbon with proprietary pore structure. Using this catalyst and ebullating bed type reactor, it has become possible to upgrade heavy oils and produce large amounts of clean fuel oils such as naphtha, kerosene and gas oil at relatively mild conditions of 10MPa removing effectively heavy metals.

Recently, the demand for light and clean fuel oils such as gasoline, kerosene and gas oil, are increasing due to the awareness of the importance of effective utilization of the world's limited petroleum resources and the vital need to preserve the global environment. On the other hands, the demand for heavy oils is decreasing. TEC has long been engaged in the development of heavy oil upgrading technology, and as one aspect of this, TEC has undertaken the development of HTC process technology to obtain a high yield of clean light oil using low cost iron-carbon catalyst. In view of the looming issue of the depletion of the world's oil resources, TEC is aiming to commercialize the HTC process as an optimal technology to upgrade even unconventional hydrocarbon resources in Canada and Venezuela as well as the extra heavy oil in Mexico.

Following on from this catalyst evaluation work, it is intended to install a verification plant at the Tula Refinery of PEMEX in 2002. The basic research on this technology was carried out by TEC with support from the Petroleum Energy Center (PEC) of Japan from 1994 to 1998.

TEC has positioned its intensive engagement in energy and environmental preservation as its key concepts in the 21st century firmly committing its engagement to develop technology to create cleaner energy.

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