In this paper the effects of some ionic liquids elaborated with iron and molybdenum used to upgrade the properties of a heavy crude oil are discussed. The underlying objective is to increase the mobility of the oil in the reservoir reducing viscosity and improving the oil quality (e.g. diminishing the asphaltene and sulfur contents and increasing its °API gravity), using ionic liquids based on iron (10 wt%) and molybdenum (2 wt%) compounds, in a liquid phase homogeneously mixed with heavy crude oil in a batch reactor of 500 ml, at 673 K during 4 hours. The API gravity of a offshore heavy crude oil from the Gulf of Mexico increased from 12.5 until 20, kinematics viscosity decreased from 15,416 to 136.63 cSt at 288.75 K, asphaltene content was reduced from 28.65 to 10.82 wt%, while the sulfur was removed from 5.14 to 2.16%; and the distillation obtained by Simulated Distillation was increased from 48 to 71.2 vol%.
Content of aromatics and saturated compounds were increased through the conversion of asphaltenes and resins, which contents decreased from 16.81 to 13.8 wt% and from 28.85 to 10.82 wt% respectively. Finally, the content of total nitrogen was reduced from 780 to 633 ppm in weight which represents a reduction approximately of 20 wt%.
In this work upgrading of a heavy crude oil was obtained through the application of the thermal and catalytic hydrocracking with an ionic liquid. This ionic liquid could be applied into the reservoir combined with in-situ combustion process using unconventional wells in order to improve the recovery of heavy crude oil, producing an oil improved in-situ with lower viscosity, being easier their exploitation, increasing the productivity index in wells, and saving costs of transportation and refining at surface.