Hydropyrolysis (HyPy) Rig



Hydropyrolysis (HyPy) is a preparative method for samples that cannot be directly characterised by traditional techniques or where non-destructive recovery of the crucial portion of the sample is difficult. The fractions will then typically be analysed using techniques such as gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy.

How does Hydropyrolysis Rig work?

HyPy uses high pressure hydrogen and a specialist catalyst to recover the organic-derived portion – biomarkers – from highly contaminated or degraded samples. Biomarkers are “molecular fossils” that allow the origin of the sample to be determined.

The HyPy process achieves higher biomarker recovery than traditional solvent-based extraction methods.

HyPy removes functional groups from biomarker molecules while preserving the “carbon backbone” without structural or stereochemical alteration. Functional groups often interact with the stationary phase of a gas chromatography (GC) column and reduce chromatographic resolution.

Hydrogen flowrate:
2-12 Nl/min (273.15k, 1013mbar)
Pressures up to 150 barG
Multi-step temperature control to 500°C
 Comprehensive independent safety systems for pressure,temperature and flow
 Services required:
Mains electricity (single phase 110v or 240v)
Instrument air
High pressure Hydrogen
Ducting for extract system
Process vent lines

Hydropyrolysis Rig: Key sectors

Petroleum industry

Characterisation of biomarkers in heavily biodegraded and contaminated kerogen and crude oil samples. Users include upstream exploration and production companies (Shell, Chevron, Cairn Energy, Unocal and PetroChina), downstream fuel technology (Innospec and Nalco) and UK oil service companies (Roberston and IGI).

Soil science
Quantification and characterization of pyrogenic carbon in soils and biochars. (Rombolà et al., 2015. ES&T 49, 11037-11044)

Automotive industry
Investigation of deposits in fuel injection equipment. Determination of the composition and source of fouling on injector tips. (Barker, 2009; SAE 2, 38-44)

Extraction of carbonaceous material from meteorites which are resistant to solvent extraction techniques. (Sephton, 2005. PSS, 53, 1280-1286)

Drug testing
Defunctionalise steroid molecules while leaving the carbon skeleton intact. More effective apportionment for the source of steroids and their metabolites.(Meredith, 2010. RCMS 24, 501-505)

Evolutionary biology
Isolation of biomarkers from rock bitumens and kerogens in order to identify the earliest recorded evidence of animal life on earth.(Love, 2009. Nature 457, 718-722)

Find out more about our collaboration with The University of Nottingham.

Interested? Get in touch with us here or call +44 (0)1932 732340 and we will be happy to help answer your questions and provide you with further information.