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Energy Systems Analysis

Comparison of Ultrasonic Wave Radiation Effects on Asphaltene Aggregation in Toluene–Pentane Mixture Between Heavy and Extra Heavy Crude Oils

[+] Author and Article Information
S. M. R. Mousavi

Ultrasonic Research Group,  Sharif University of Technology, P. O. Box: 113659465 Azadi Ave., Tehran, Iranmohamadreza_mousavi@yahoo.com

I. Najafi

Ultrasonic Research Group,  Sharif University of Technology, P. O. Box: 113659465 Azadi Ave., Tehran, Iraniman_najafi65@yahoo.com

M. H. Ghazanfari

Ultrasonic Research Group,  Sharif University of Technology, P. O. Box: 113659465 Azadi Ave., Tehran, Iranghazanfari@ sharif.edu

M. Amani

 Texas A&M University, Petroleum Engineering Program at Qatar P. O. Box: 23874 Education City, Doha, Qatarmahmood.amani@qatar.tamu.edu

J. Energy Resour. Technol 134(2), 022001 (Apr 26, 2012) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006435 History: Received September 11, 2010; Revised March 18, 2012; Published April 26, 2012; Online April 26, 2012

In this study, it is aimed to compare the efficiency of ultrasonic wave technology on asphaltene flocculation inhibition of crude oils with different American Petroleum Institute (API) gravities. A set of confocal microscopy test is performed and a series of statistical analysis is done. According to the results of this study, there is an optimum radiation time for both crudes at which the viscosity and the flocculation rate of asphaltenic crude oils reduces to its minimum. This optimum appears at later times of radiation for extra heavy oil. Also, it is shown that the rate of changes in the properties measured in this study is sharper for extra heavy crude oil. It could be concluded that the alternations caused by this technology is more significant for Kouh-e-Mond, which is heavier oil than Sarvak crude oil. Derjaguin–Ladau–Verwey–Overbeek (DLVO) kinetic model was also studied and it was understood that this model cannot be a validate model for radiated samples.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Kinematic viscosity changes of Iranian Sarvak field (a) and Kouh-e-Mond (b) crude oil at various times of ultrasonic wave radiation

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Figure 2

Confocal images of Sarvak field (upper figure) and Kouh-e-Mond (lower figure) crude oils after 120 min of flocculation with 60% n-pentane: (a) sample L1, nonsonicated, (b) sample L2, sonicated for 10 min, (c) sample L3, sonicated for 40 min, (d) sample H1, nonsonicated, (e) sample H2, sonicated for 10 min, and (f) sample H3, sonicated for 40 min

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Figure 3

Confocal images of Sarvak and Kouh-e-Mond crude oil after 60 min of flocculation with 60% n-pentane for samples 1–4: (a) sample L1, nonsonicated, (b) sample L2, sonicated for 10 min, (c) sample L3, sonicated for 40 min, (d) sample H1, nonsonicated, (e) sample H2, sonicated for 10 min, and (f) sample H3, sonicated for 40 min.

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Figure 4

Changes in the average radius of aggregates by elapsing the time of flocculation

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Figure 5

Particles size distribution curve for four samples of Sarvak crude oil flocculated with 60% n-pentane after 120 min of flocculation. (a) Samples L1 and H1, nonsonicated oil, (b) samples L2 and H2, 10 min radiated, and (c) samples L3 and H3, 40 min radiated.

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Figure 6

The overall trend of the mean particle size as a function of flocculation time for all the four crude oil samples at 60% n-pentane

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Figure 7

Aggregates average radius versus time of flocculation for samples L1 and L3 (upper figure) and samples H1 and H3 (lower figure)

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