The Heavy Oil Technology Center (HOTC) team has been involved with heavy oil partial upgrading research since 2004 in an attempt to help alleviate the transportation problems currently associated with heavy oil. The team has successfully completed over 100 test campaigns on our partial upgrading pilot plant, and operates with a "safety first" mentality.

The HOTC facility is located in a 1600 square foot enclosed testing bay and 2500 square foot covered tank farm, along with supporting laboratory facilities. The testing bay houses a 5 barrel per day partial upgrading pilot plant. The pilot plant is fully automated to maximize safety and allow for complete data collection throughout the entire pilot plant.

Partial upgrading proficiency:

  • Pilot scale development and operation

  • Heavy oil thermal conversion

  • Heavy oil solvent deasphalting

  • Asphaltene recovery and handling

  • Pilot plant data collection and analysis

  • Process design and implementation

The HOTC team strives to develop complete technologies, while not overcomplicating the process. The team operates with a can do attitude that welcomes any project or idea our clients may have.

HOTC has worked closely with MEG Energy (MEG) to develop and evaluate processing concepts for heavy oil partial upgrading that resulted in the HI-Q® technology.

Key benefits gained from the MEG concept:

  • Product meets pipeline specifications

    • API° Density

    • Viscosity

  • Minimize diluent requirements

  • Experience processing multiple feedstocks from Alberta’s oil sands production

  • Reduced partial upgrading carbon footprint

  • To discuss project-specific upgrading studies or new adventures, please inquire.

For more information, contact:

Justin L. Martin / Bio
Vice President
Sustainable Emerging Technologies
(307) 721-2278

Western Research Institute
3474 N. 3rd Street
Laramie, WY 82072

(307) 721-2011
(888) 463-6974 or (888) Info-WRI

You can contact WRI directly by phone (8 a.m. – 5 p.m. MST, Monday-Friday) at the numbers above.
Also, you are welcome to contact the appropriate WRI representative directly.


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