This is a method to reactively refine hydrocarbons, such as heavy oils with API gravities of less than 20.degree. and bitumen-like hydrocarbons with viscosities greater than 1000 cp at standard temperature and pressure using a selected fluid at supercritical conditions. The reaction portion of the method delivers lighter weight, more volatile hydrocarbons to an attached contacting device that operates in mixed subcritical or supercritical modes. This separates the reaction products into portions that are viable for use or sale without further conventional refining and hydro-processing techniques. This method produces valuable products with fewer processing steps, lower costs, increased worker safety due to less processing and handling, allow greater opportunity for new oil field development and subsequent positive economic impact, reduce related carbon dioxide, and wastes typical with conventional refineries.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED R&D
This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25396 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Los Alamos National Security for the management and operation of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The Government has certain rights in this invention.