Selective separation of solvent from deasphalted oil using CO2 for heavy oil upgrading process based on solvent deasphalting

Soo Ik Im, Sangcheol Shin, Jun Woo Park, Hyung Jin Yoon, Kang Seok Go, Nam Sun Nho, Ki Bong Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The solvent deasphalting (SDA) process is a heavy oil upgrading process in which deasphalted oil (DAO) is extracted from heavy oil feedstock by precipitating asphaltene using an excess amount of alkane solvent (C3-C6). After the extraction, solvent recovery should be carried out for separating the solvent from the DAO in order to recycle the expensive solvent. In the conventional solvent recovery method, the mixture of solvent and DAO is heated to evaporate the solvent, which requires massive heat energy, resulting in reduced process efficiency. In this study, CO2 is applied for the first time to selectively separate solvent from DAO at a relatively low temperature. The experimental results in a batch separator indicate that the temperature required for high solvent recovery of over 80% decreases from 200 °C to 40 °C when using CO2 compared to the conventional method. The theoretical approach using Hansen distance calculation based on the Hansen solubility parameter (HSP) was used to verify the mechanism of solvent separation using CO2. The results suggest that the increase in the interaction between CO2 and solvent causes the separation of solvent from DAO, leading to an increase in solvent recovery. Also, numerical simulation results show the possibility of continuous operation for solvent recovery using CO2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-394
Number of pages6
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1


  • Carbon dioxide
  • Deasphalted oil
  • Solvent deasphalting
  • Solvent recovery
  • n-Pentane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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