Title

Oil-based binding resins: Peculiar water-in-oil emulsion breakers

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Energy and Fuels

Publisher

American Chemical Society Publications

School

School of Engineering

RAS ID

32765

Funders

Australian Research Council

Grant Number

ARC Number : DP190101335

Grant Link

http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DP190101335

Comments

Zargar, M., Fridjonsson, E. O., Graham, B. F., May, E. F., & Johns, M. L. (2019). Oil-based binding resins: Peculiar water-in-oil emulsion breakers. Energy & Fuels, 33(9), 8448-8455. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.energyfuels.9b01994

Abstract

Asphaltenes are widely associated with the unwanted stability of water-in-crude oil (w/o) emulsions due to their inhibitory effect on water droplet coalescence. Here, we seek to prove that certain crude oil resins that can bind with asphaltenes, hereafter referred to as binding resins, are capable of solvating these asphaltenes such that the w/o emulsion destabilizes. W/o emulsions were formed using a variety of crude oils as well as model oils with varying amounts of resins and asphaltenes. A modified SARA fractionation technique was adopted to extract the required resins and asphaltenes. Emulsion stability was tracked over time both visually and via the use of pulsed field gradient nuclear magnetic resonance to quantify the emulsions’ water droplet size distributions. It was conclusively found that the binding resins significantly improved the demulsification rate of the emulsions formed using both crude oil and model oils. In the case of the model oils, this influence could only be attributed to the removal of the asphaltenes from the droplet surfaces by the binding resins; the effect was shown to be partially independent of the source of the binding resin. The use of this oil fraction subclass for emulsion destabilization shows great promise as a new flow assurance strategy by substituting costly synthetic chemical emulsion destabilizers with naturally occurring resins.

DOI

10.1021/acs.energyfuels.9b01994

Research Themes

Natural and Built Environments

Priority Areas

Engineering, technology and nanotechnology

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