Patent analysis of oil sands bitumen upgrading technologies

Bong Lee Ki, Goo Jeon Sang, Sun Nho Nam, Ho Kim Kwang, Hyun Shin Dae, Wook Kim Seon, Heon Kim Yong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Oil sands had not received enough attention due to high production cost. However, as oil price significantly increases, oil sands are receiving more and more interest as unconventional crude oil. The value and applicability of oil sands can be enhanced by upgrading oil sands bitumen to produce synthetic crude oil (SCO). This study analyzed 213 oil sands upgrading patents applied between 1969 and 2006 in US, Canada, Japan, Europe, and Korea. The upgrading technologies could be classified into 9 detailed technologies; hydrocracking, coking, thermal cracking, deasphalting, supercritical technology, bio-technology, hydrotreating, gasification, and others. The number of patents applied for oil sands upgrading increased after 1970, reached a maximum in the early 1980, and slowly increases again in recent years. Korea has a lack of technologies for oil sands. Therefore, the technologies for oil sands production and application, specially, upgrading technologies based on accumulated oil refinery technologies need to be developed to increase self-development ratio of energy resource.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-599
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Korean Industrial and Engineering Chemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Bitumen
  • Oil sands
  • Patent analysis
  • Upgrading technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Patent analysis of oil sands bitumen upgrading technologies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this