One-step conversion of crude oil to light olefins using a multi-zone reactor

Mohammed A. Alabdullah, Alberto Rodriguez Gomez, Tuiana Shoinkhorova, Alla Dikhtiarenko, Abhishek Dutta Chowdhury, Idoia Hita, Shekhar Rajabhau Kulkarni, Jullian Vittenet, Mani Sarathy, Pedro Castaño, Anissa Bendjeriou-Sedjerari, Edy Abou-Hamad, Wen Zhang, Ola S. Ali, Isidoro Morales-Osorio, Wei Xu, Jorge Gascon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


With the demand for gasoline and diesel expected to decline in the near future, crude-to-chemicals technologies have the potential to become the most important processes in the petrochemical industry. This trend has triggered intense research to maximize the production of light olefins and aromatics at the expense of fuels, which calls for disruptive processes able to transform crude oil to chemicals in an efficient and environmentally friendly way. Here we propose a catalytic reactor concept consisting of a multi-zone fluidized bed that is able to perform several refining steps in a single reactor vessel. This configuration allows for in situ catalyst stripping and regeneration, while the incorporation of silicon carbide in the catalyst confers it with improved physical, mechanical and heat-transport properties. As a result, this reactor–catalyst combination has shown stable conversion of untreated Arabian Light crude into light olefins with yields per pass of over 30 wt% with a minimum production of dry gas.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Catalysis
StatePublished - Feb 25 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-03-01
Acknowledgements: We acknowledge Saudi Aramco for financial support. Y. Saih, S. Telalovic and L. E. Gevers are gratefully acknowledged for technical support and S. Ramirez Cherbuy for the artwork design.


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