Explaining the paradox of asphaltene precipitation with n-alkanes

Rashedul Islam, Chau Chyun Chen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Paraffins, specifically alkanes, promotes asphaltene precipitation when they are blended with asphaltene-containing petroleum fluids. The alkane/oil volume ratio required for onset of asphaltene precipitation increases with the carbon number and yields a maxima. Experimental study indicates that the maxima lays at C7[1] or between C8 - C10 [2], However, precipitation yield decreases asymptotically with increase of the carbon number even if excessively high alkane/oil volume ratio is used [3], For example, n-pentane be a better solvent for asphaltene than n-hexane in regard of both onset of precipitation and precipitation yield. However, high carbon number alkane beyond the maxima, n-hexadecane for instance, can be a better solvent at onset of precipitation point and a poorer solvent in regard of precipitation yield than n-pentadecane. A thermodynamic explanation for this paradox is necessarily important to find the compatibility of bitumen or crude oil with paraffinic hydrocarbons. In this work, this paradox is explained by the aggregation thermodynamics of asphaltene precipitation [4], Both the enthalpy and entropy of mixing are investigated to explain the effect of paraffin carbon number on asphaltene precipitation. Athabasca and cold lake bitumen samples are studied.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication28th Ethylene Producers' Conference 2016 - Topical Conference at the 2016 AIChE Spring Meeting and 12th Global Congress on Process Safety
PublisherAmerican Institute of Chemical Engineers
Pages70
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)9781510824843
StatePublished - 2016
Event28th Ethylene Producers' Conference 2016 - Topical Conference at the 2016 AIChE Spring Meeting and 12th Global Congress on Process Safety - Houston, United States
Duration: Apr 10 2016Apr 14 2016

Publication series

NameAIChE Ethylene Producers Conference Proceedings
Volume2016-January

Conference

Conference28th Ethylene Producers' Conference 2016 - Topical Conference at the 2016 AIChE Spring Meeting and 12th Global Congress on Process Safety
CountryUnited States
CityHouston
Period04/10/1604/14/16

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