(334e) Modeling Asphaltene Aggregation With a Single Compound | AIChE

(334e) Modeling Asphaltene Aggregation With a Single Compound


Subramanian, D. - Presenter, University of Maryland
Anisimov, M. A., University of Maryland
Peters, C. J., Petroleum Institute
Leys, J., KU Leuven
Bruere, B., The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi

Modeling Asphaltene Aggregation with a Single Compound

Bianca Breure1, Deepa Subramanian1,2, Jan Leys2,3, Cor J. Peters1, and Mikhail A. Anisimov2,3

1Chemical Engineering Department, The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

2Institute for Physical Science and Technology, and Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, United States

3Laboratorium voor Akoestiek en Thermische Fysica, Departement Natuurkunde en Sterrenkunde, KU Leuven, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium


Aggregation of a model asphaltene compound hexa-tert-butylhexa-perihexabenzocoronene (HTBHBC) in toluene/heptane mixtures was monitored in real time using dynamic light scattering. The observed aggregation behavior was compared to that of real asphaltenes. It was found that heptane induces aggregation of HTBHBC and that the growth rate of the aggregates depends upon the toluene/heptane ratio, closely resembling the aggregation kinetics of real asphaltenes. For the conditions studied in this work, only diffusion-limited aggregation was observed. We thus confirm that a single well-defined compound can be successfully used for modeling the process of asphaltene aggregation.