High-throughput packed-bed microreactors with in-line analytics for the discovery of asphaltene deposition mechanisms

Chuntian Hu, Ryan L. Hartman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Understanding asphaltene nanoaggregation kinetics is a key to predicting the deposition in pure quartz-grain porous media. High-throughput quartz packed-bed microreactors (μPBRs) were, therefore, designed to provide mechanistic insights by merging oilfield chemistry and microchemical systems. In-line UV-Vis spectroscopy and pressure transducer were used to characterize the stable packing of quartz particles with porosity of ~40% and permeability of ~5.5 × 10-13 m2. Temperature (25.0-90.0°C), n-heptane composition (50.0-80.0 vol %), and n-alkane (n-C5 to n-C9) were all observed to influence asphaltenes deposition in the porous media, and reduced dispersion was obtained in the damaged packed-bed by estimating dispersion coefficients and the Bodenstein number. Deposition by mechanical entrapment dominated the mechanism in all scenarios, as discovered by the simplified Kozeny-Carman and Civan's permeability-porosity relationships. The results could aid in the design of remediations that minimize production losses of considerable economic magnitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3534-3546
Number of pages13
JournalAIChE Journal
Volume60
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2014

Keywords

  • Asphaltenes
  • Deposition
  • Packed-bed microreactor
  • Precipitation
  • Residence time distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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