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Catalysts, Volume 9, Issue 5 (May 2019)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) Typically, after extraction, the viscosity of bitumen must be significantly reduced using a diluent [...] Read more. Typically, after extraction, the viscosity of bitumen must be significantly reduced using a diluent to allow for transportation. Partial upgrading via thermal cracking can provide an economically and environmentally attractive alternative to diluent use, given that the viscosity of the liquid product can be reduced to pipeline standards. In this study, Athabasca bitumen was thermally cracked in an autoclave in the range of 400–440 °C, resulting in a liquid yield of ~95 wt.% in addition to reducing the viscosity to ~60 cSt, well below the 350 cSt pipeline requirement at 15.6 °C. View this paper.