Three dimensional measurements of asphaltene deposition in a transparent micro-channel

Y. Zhuang, Afshin Goharzadeh, Yu Jiun Lin, Yit F. Yap, J. C. Chai, Nevin Thunduvila Mathew, Francisco M. Vargas, Sibani Lisa Biswal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

This study describes a novel experimental approach to directly measure the thicknesses of asphaltene deposits in micro-channels. The thickness of the asphaltene deposit is estimated using a visualization technique based on 3D digital microscopy. The working fluid is a mixture of n-heptane and dead oil. Induced by the addition of n-heptane, the asphaltenes present in crude oil phase separate at ambient temperature to form aggregates of asphaltene-rich phase. Part of the asphaltene aggregates deposit on the walls of the transparent micro-channel. A two-dimensional profile of the deposit across the channel at selected axial sections is measured. The influences of injection mixture volume on the growth of the thickness of deposited asphaltenes is investigated using two experimental conditions, (i) varying elapsed time at constant flow rate and (ii) increasing the flow rate at a constant elapsed time. In both cases the deposit thickness of asphaltene (δ) increases with the total injection volume (V). The experimental results obtained in this work provide new insights into the deposition process at the micro-scale level, which can be used to facilitate the development of more accurate numerical model for this application.

LanguageEnglish
Pages77-82
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Volume145
Early online date28 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016

Fingerprint

asphaltene
Deposits
Asphaltenes
Heptane
Flow rate
crude oil
visualization
Numerical models
microscopy
Microscopic examination
Visualization
Crude oil
Fluids
fluid
oil
temperature
Temperature

Cite this

Zhuang, Y. ; Goharzadeh, Afshin ; Lin, Yu Jiun ; Yap, Yit F. ; Chai, J. C. ; Mathew, Nevin Thunduvila ; Vargas, Francisco M. ; Biswal, Sibani Lisa. / Three dimensional measurements of asphaltene deposition in a transparent micro-channel. In: Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering. 2016 ; Vol. 145. pp. 77-82.
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abstract = "This study describes a novel experimental approach to directly measure the thicknesses of asphaltene deposits in micro-channels. The thickness of the asphaltene deposit is estimated using a visualization technique based on 3D digital microscopy. The working fluid is a mixture of n-heptane and dead oil. Induced by the addition of n-heptane, the asphaltenes present in crude oil phase separate at ambient temperature to form aggregates of asphaltene-rich phase. Part of the asphaltene aggregates deposit on the walls of the transparent micro-channel. A two-dimensional profile of the deposit across the channel at selected axial sections is measured. The influences of injection mixture volume on the growth of the thickness of deposited asphaltenes is investigated using two experimental conditions, (i) varying elapsed time at constant flow rate and (ii) increasing the flow rate at a constant elapsed time. In both cases the deposit thickness of asphaltene (δ) increases with the total injection volume (V). The experimental results obtained in this work provide new insights into the deposition process at the micro-scale level, which can be used to facilitate the development of more accurate numerical model for this application.",
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Three dimensional measurements of asphaltene deposition in a transparent micro-channel. / Zhuang, Y.; Goharzadeh, Afshin; Lin, Yu Jiun; Yap, Yit F.; Chai, J. C.; Mathew, Nevin Thunduvila; Vargas, Francisco M.; Biswal, Sibani Lisa.

In: Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, Vol. 145, 09.2016, p. 77-82.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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