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Mohammad Bahhar, Speaker at Catalysis Conferences
Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia
Title : Effect of mesoporosity and acidity on crude oil direct hydrocracking


In this study, various hydrocracking catalysts were synthesized using modified zeolite Y with different levels of mesoporosity and acidity to investigate their effects on crude oil hydroconversion. The zeolites and catalysts were characterized with N2-adsorption, XRD, and NH3-TPD techniques. Their hydrocracking performance was evaluated using crude oil under commercial operating conditions in a pilot plant unit. The results indicate that catalysts featuring high acidity, strong acid sites, and increased mesoporisity enhance crude conversion and middle distillate yields.  This improvement is primarily due to better accessibility to active sites and more efficient transport of bulky molecules in mesopores compared to micropores. Additionally, an optimized distribution of zeolitic acidity also contributes to the performance enhancement.

Audience Takeaway Notes:

  • The main findings can help to develop heavy oil hydrocracking catalysts which is core technologies in petroleum refining and chemicals production.
  • The research can be taken as a good example that how mass transfer and acidity can affect the real chemical reactions, and how to balance the two factors.


Dr. Mohammed Bahar joined Saudi Aramco, Research & Development Center in 2010. He received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Manchester, UK in 2018. He has been part of several applications and projects focused on hydrocarbon conversion, upgrading and refining. He has several years of experience in the field of zeolite synthesis, catalyst development, Characterization and testing. Dr. Mohammed focuses on hydroprocessing, hydrocracking and petrochemical catalyst and process development. His main interest is to synthesize, modify and tailor zeolite frameworks to improve yields and selectivity of refinery valuable products as well as sustainability applications.