Conventional Fuels &
Energy Development
International Alternative Fuel
Technology Center (IAFTC) Home

image of heavy fuel upgrading

Heavy fuel upgrading

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Process simulation

Using practical and dynamic approaches to advance fuels technology, the staff at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) works with clients through every step of process development— from lab-scale to commercial design. With diverse backgrounds in biofuels, gas-to-fuels, petroleum upgrading, and electrochemical processes, our engineers and scientists strive to improve the use of fossil fuels through supporting petroleum and chemical process development for improving costs, efficiency, environmental impacts, and technology advancement.

The section has expertise in the operation of pilot plant-scale fluidized bed reactors, characterization of alternative fuel products, process simulations, scale-up cost estimates, mass, material, and energy balances, optimization of fuel processes, equipment sizing, and reduction of environmental impacts from fuel extraction and energy production.

Projects in this field have included practical process simulations, novel electrochemistry process development, bitumen/residuum upgrading, product refinement and filtration, operation standardization, and carbon capture and sequestration.

Fuel & Energy Development Strengths

  • Demonstration plant operations
  • Chemical process investigations
  • Process simulation
  • Product refinement
  • Process integration
  • Blending
  • Blending simulation
  • Distillation
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Demonstration plant design and operation

Related Terminology

conventional fuel  •  energy development  •  fuel research  •  fuel technology  •  biofuels  •  gas-to-fuel  •  petroleum upgrading  •  electrochemical processes  •  fuel blending  •  fuel distillation  

International Alternative Fuel Technology Center (IAFTC),
Robert Burrahm, Assistant Director, Office of Automotive Engineering, 210-522-3064,

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 10 technical divisions.