Simultaneous Application of Heat and Electron Particles to Effectively Reduce the Viscosity of Heavy Deasphalted Petroleum Fluids Academic Article uri icon


  • Application of ionizing incidents, as an innovative way of combining engineering physics and chemistry to efficiently deliver energy to the electronic structure of the molecules, has introduced great opportunities to the developing oil and gas industry. Although heavy petroleum resources have been considered as a potential alternative to fulfill the growing energy inquiries, the lack of cost-effective technologies for extraction, transportation, or refinery upgrading hinders the development of heavy oil reserves. Nevertheless, electron irradiation technology can economically overcome principal problems of heavy oil processing arising from the heavy oils unfavorable physical and chemical properties. This technology promises to increase the yields of valuable and environmentally satisfying products in thermal cracking. Electron particles were observed to reduce the viscosity of heavy deasphalted petroleum fluid and to provide a higher concentration of light hydrocarbons in the final product. This behavior is attributed to the intensified cracking in the presence of ionizing electrons. Molecular distribution of the hydrocarbons in liquid and gas products shows that although simultaneous application of heat and electron particles accelerates the cracking process, the reaction mechanism does not differ from that of thermal cracking. The results also demonstrate the substantial influence of reaction temperature and absorbed dose upon the radiolysis throughput. Moreover, aging analyses of the post-treatment samples proves the time-stable nature of the irradiation products.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Alfi, M., Barrufet, M. A., Da Silva, P. F., & Moreira, R. G.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Alfi, Masoud||Barrufet, Maria A||Da Silva, Paulo F||Moreira, Rosana G

publication date

  • September 2013