A process for upgrading hydrocarbonaceous oil containing heteroatom-containing compounds where the hydrocarbonaceous oil is contacted with a solvent system that is a mixture of a major portion of a polar solvent having a dipole moment greater than about 1 debye and a minor portion of water to selectively separate the constituents of the carbonaceous oil into a heteroatom-depleted raffinate fraction and heteroatom-enriched extract fraction. The polar solvent and the water-in-solvent system are formulated at a ratio where the water is an antisolvent in an amount to inhibit solubility of heteroatom-containing compounds and the polar solvent in the raffinate, and to inhibit solubility of non-heteroatom-containing compounds in the extract. The ratio of the hydrocarbonaceous oil to the solvent system is such that a coefficient of separation is at least 50%. The coefficient of separation is the mole percent of heteroatom-containing compounds from the carbonaceous oil that are recovered in the extract fraction minus the mole percent of non-heteroatom-containing compounds from the carbonaceous oil that are recovered in the extract fraction. The solvent-free extract and the raffinate concentrates may be used directly or processed to make valuable petroleum, chemical or industrial products.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made in part with United States Government support under contract No. DE-AC21-93MC29240 awarded by the Department of Energy (DOE). The government may have certain rights in this invention.