ACS Omega. 2022 Oct 26;7(44):40267-40274. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.2c05182. eCollection 2022 Nov 8.
Elucidating the structure-performance relationship of zeolites and their synergy with metals for the catalytic aquathermolysis of crude oil is crucial for designing efficient catalysts. Herein, the structure-performance relationship between the magnetic Fe-loaded zeolite’s physicochemical properties and aquathermolysis performance is mainly explored. First, the catalytic aquathermolysis performance of various porous materials (Y, β, MCM-41, and ZSM-5 zeolites) was probed to investigate the effect of different topological structures on the viscosity reduction of heavy oil. Results showed that ZSM-5 has a favorable pore structure and acidity, and its viscosity reduction performance is 1.7-4.1 times those of other zeolites; therefore, it is more suitable as a carrier for aquathermolysis to reduce viscosity. Then, Fe substance (such as Fe2O3 and Fe3O4) was loaded onto the ZSM-5 support. It was found that Fe3O4/ZSM-5 had better performance compared with pure ZSM-5 and Fe2O3/ZSM-5, which could reduce the viscosity of heavy oil by 20.3%. Importantly, the Fe3O4/ZSM-5 catalyst is easily separated from crude oil due to its magnetism, hence it has the potential to be recycled and reused. In addition, the potential structure-performance relationship was systematically studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD), elemental analysis (EL), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). As a result, it was considered that Fe3O4/ZSM-5 broke C-S bonds and reduced the heavy components (resin and asphaltene) of crude oil. This study has a certain guiding significance for developing heterogeneous magnetic hydrothermal viscosity reduction catalysts.