Heavy Oil Process Monitor: Automated On-Column Asphaltene Precipitation and Re-Dissolution

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An automated separation technique was developed that provides a new approach to measuring the distribution profiles of the most polar, or asphaltenic components of an oil, using a continuous flow system to precipitate and re-dissolve asphaltenes from the oil. Methods of analysis based on this new technique were explored. One method based on the new technique involves precipitation of a portion of residua sample in heptane on a polytetrafluoroethylene-packed (PTFE) column. The precipitated material is re-dissolved in three steps using solvents of increasing polarity: cyclohexane, toluene, and methylene chloride. The amount of asphaltenes that dissolve in cyclohexane is a useful ... continued below

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Schabron, John F.; Rovani, Joseph F. & Sanderson, Mark March 31, 2007.

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Description

An automated separation technique was developed that provides a new approach to measuring the distribution profiles of the most polar, or asphaltenic components of an oil, using a continuous flow system to precipitate and re-dissolve asphaltenes from the oil. Methods of analysis based on this new technique were explored. One method based on the new technique involves precipitation of a portion of residua sample in heptane on a polytetrafluoroethylene-packed (PTFE) column. The precipitated material is re-dissolved in three steps using solvents of increasing polarity: cyclohexane, toluene, and methylene chloride. The amount of asphaltenes that dissolve in cyclohexane is a useful diagnostic of the thermal history of oil, and its proximity to coke formation. For example, about 40 % (w/w) of the heptane asphaltenes from unpyrolyzed residua dissolves in cyclohexane. As pyrolysis progresses, this number decrease to below 15% as coke and toluene insoluble pre-coke materials appear. Currently, the procedure for the isolation of heptane asphaltenes and the determination of the amount of asphaltenes soluble in cyclohexane spans three days. The automated procedure takes one hour. Another method uses a single solvent, methylene chloride, to re-dissolve the material that precipitates on heptane on the PTFE-packed column. The area of this second peak can be used to calculate a value which correlates with gravimetric asphaltene content. Currently the gravimetric procedure to determine asphaltenes takes about 24 hours. The automated procedure takes 30 minutes. Results for four series of original and pyrolyzed residua were compared with data from the gravimetric methods. Methods based on the new on-column precipitation and re-dissolution technique provide significantly more detail about the polar constituent's oils than the gravimetric determination of asphaltenes.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FC26-98FT40322
  • DOI: 10.2172/909849 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 909849
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc877325

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  • March 31, 2007

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Dec. 7, 2016, 3:12 p.m.

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Schabron, John F.; Rovani, Joseph F. & Sanderson, Mark. Heavy Oil Process Monitor: Automated On-Column Asphaltene Precipitation and Re-Dissolution, report, March 31, 2007; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc877325/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.