Scientists at SLAC and Utrecht University have identified key problems in the crude oil refining process in an effort to increase the production yield of gasoline.
Their recent experiments at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory studied catalysts that crack apart the long-chain hydrocarbons in crude oil into smaller, more valuable hydrocarbons like gasoline. The efficiency of this refinement process decreases as the catalysts age.
The researchers used X-ray beams at SLAC’s Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource to image whole catalyst particles and their internal structure with high resolution – like taking a landscape photograph where you can see a panoramic view and zoom in to see the ants.
To learn more about this research, check out my communications article for SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.