Evaluation of Venezuela's Orinoco Bitumen as an MHD Fuel 929203

The Orinoco Belt in Venezuela contains huge deposits of a bitumen that is complex to handle and refine into lighter hydrocarbon fractions. These deposits are in the early commercialization stage, being marketed as an emulsion with 30% water as a boiler fuel. The fuel is similar to oil in heating value (about 18,100 BTU/lbm) and ash (less than 0.4%). It has an extremely high carbon to hydrogen ratio, a parameter that is important in MHD for electrical conductivity. The authors evaluate the potential for this bitumen as a fuel for an MHD Steam Combined Cycle Power Plant. An experimental program to demonstrate the merit of the bitumen as an MHD fuel and validate the calculations is suggested.


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