Caracas, January 25th, 2012.
Dear IANAS- OWSD,
My name is Clarimar Camacho; I am currently enrolled as a postgraduate student at the Chemistry School of the Science Faculty of Universidad Central de Venezuela. At this time, I am developing the experimental part of my doctorate thesis at the Centro de Catálisis Petróleo y Petroquímica. My research field is hydrotreatment of vacuum gasoil’s and hence, I am interested to achieve the opportunity of 6-month internship you offer at a University of the United States of America.
At the moment, I am working in the experimental part of my doctorate thesis. This stage of my research is based on the design of bi- and tri-metallic sulfides catalysts, through new synthesis methods; their catalytic performance on hydrotreatment (HDT) reaction of vacuum gasoil’s, and the reactivity of the different sulfur compounds. The experimental methodology of my thesis could be divided in 6 parts:
- Design and synthesis of bi-metallic catalysts of CoMo, NiMo, NiW, FeMo, and FeW.
- Design and synthesis of tri-metallic catalysts of CoNiMo, NiFeMo, and CoFeMo.
- Study of the performance of the synthesized solids on the catalytic hydrotreatment (HDT) reaction of vacuum gasoil’s.
- Study of the reactivity of the different sulfur compound toward HDT reactions.
- Characterization of the synthesized catalysts.
The importance of such research is related to the composition of the different types of Venezuelan crude oils, being most of them heavy and extra-heavy crude oils. The physical-chemical composition of these crude oils is very complex having high levels of pollutant elements, such as: nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, vanadium, and nickel. The development of the new processes and the improvement of the preexisting ones, are the key elements to the process, and also to obtain most resources from the above-mentioned crude oils. Our research group focuses on the study of the reactions of the HDT processes, specifically on the HDS and HDN reactions of fractions of crudes such as HVGO and VGO. These crude oils are raw material for FCC processes, which are involved in the gasoline and diesel production. Our main goal is to design and synthesize catalysts that can be used to hydrotreat these crude oils. Also, we expect that these catalysts be more selective and active than the commercial ones.
The synthesis of catalysts through the formation of metal complexes and ionic exchange on modified supports with γ-aminopropyltriethoxysilane is a preferred option to design HDT catalysts for crude oils, specifically for vacuum residues; this synthesis method produce particles with a higher dispersion on the support, with particles sizes in the range of nanometers, and high catalytic activity in the HDS reactions. While commercial catalysts contain 12% and 15% of metals, our synthesis method allows the preparation of catalysts with a lower metal content (4%). Such advantage may have an important economic impact in HDT processes; reducing costs of the whole process. Environmentally, this study may also have big importance due to the demanding regulations that set sulfur content as 30 ppm in gasoline and 10 ppm in diesel.
At the moment, I have designed and synthesized bi-metallic catalysts and studied their activity and reactivity of sulfur components for HDT of VGO and HVGO fractions; obtaining interesting results related to the activity of these catalysts. Therefore, my further interest is to characterize the best catalysts.
Due to the lack of the necessary equipments for the analysis and detailed morphological comprehension of the catalysts in the laboratories of the Catalysis Center, I would like to complement the characterization of the synthesized catalysts at the University of California, Riverside, under the tutorship of professor Francisco Zaera.
I would like to thank you, in advance, for the opportunity that you offer.
The planned expenses for my trip and studies in California are:
- Flight ticket ($1600).
- Accommodations ($ 800), monthly.
- Food ($ 200), monthly.
- Transportation ($ 200), monthly.
- Other expenses ($ 100), monthly.
Without further addition, but hopping a positive response,
Lic. Clarimar Camacho