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The acoustic spectroscopy of asphaltene aggregation in petroleum

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Geoffrey AbbottORCiD


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Asphaltenes are well known to be important in causing blockages during production, transportation and refining. They are also responsible for the formation of tar mats in petroleum reservoirs, which can impede crude oil recovery. Acoustic spectroscopy in the frequency range 2 - 120 MHz was used to detect the aggregation of asphaltenes in a North Sea crude oil (UK continental shelf). In the absence of aggregation, both the toluene solvent and the maltenes isolated from the oil exhibit a power law dependence which is a function of the continuous phase. In contrast the crude oil itself showed clear signs of a changing size of the scattering entities. With sufficient information, it may in future be possible to determine the size of the scattering particles from the acoustic spectrum including the changing size of the asphaltene particles during aggregation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Abbott GD, Povey MJW

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: International Symposium of Ultrasound in the Control of Industrial Processes (UCIP)

Year of Conference: 2012

Pages: 012022

ISSN: 1757-8981

Publisher: IOP Publishing


DOI: 10.1088/1757-899X/42/1/012022

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Series Title: IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering