Examining Asphaltene Solubility on Deposition in Model Porous Media

Yu Jiun Lin, Peng He, Mohammad Tavakkoli, Nevin Thunduvila Mathew, Yap Yit Fatt, John C. Chai, Afshin Goharzadeh, Francisco M. Vargas, Sibani Lisa Biswal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Asphaltenes are known to cause severe flow assurance problems in the near-wellbore region of oil reservoirs. Understanding the mechanism of asphaltene deposition in porous media is of great significance for the development of accurate numerical simulators and effective chemical remediation treatments. Here, we present a study of the dynamics of asphaltene deposition in porous media using microfluidic devices. A model oil containing 5 wt % dissolved asphaltenes was mixed with n-heptane, a known asphaltene precipitant, and flowed through a representative porous media microfluidic chip. Asphaltene deposition was recorded and analyzed as a function of solubility, which was directly correlated to particle size and Péclet number. In particular, pore-scale visualization and velocity profiles, as well as three stages of deposition, were identified and examined to determine the important convection-diffusion effects on deposition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8729-8734
Number of pages6
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2016


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