Effect of pH and surfactants on shear induced asphaltene removal

Rizvi, Syed Haider Abbas and Bharatbhai, Shrimali Jonit and Gupta, Shivam and Phirani, Jyoti and Singh, Vikram (2022) Effect of pH and surfactants on shear induced asphaltene removal. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 211. 110134. ISSN 0920-4105 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2022.110134)

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Asphaltene removal from sediments is essential for enhanced oil recovery from heavier crude oil reservoirs and tar sands and bitumen recovery from bottom products in downstream processes. Water injection or water flooding at high pressures exert shear forces that can overcome the adhesive forces between asphaltene and mineral surfaces. The adhesive forces are also affected by ions in the aqueous medium. In the current work we study asphaltene removal from silica surface using shear forces of aqueous media in a parallel plate channel. We demonstrate the effect of varying pH and surfactant conditions in aqueous media on asphaltene removal efficiency. We relate the removal efficiency with fractional asphaltene volume on the surface estimated from atomic force microscopy. The fractional asphaltene volume reduces to 0.12 at pH 10, which is approximately 50% lower than water at neutral pH at the same shear rate. We show that the water-soluble anionic surfactants are inefficient in asphaltene removal, whereas cationic surfactant reduces the asphaltene fraction to 0.30. We conclude that the removal efficiency is affected by the zeta potential of the asphaltene and the surface, where electrostatic repulsion between the asphaltene and the surface and increased wettability in the presence of cationic surfactant improves asphaltene removal.


Rizvi, Syed Haider Abbas, Bharatbhai, Shrimali Jonit, Gupta, Shivam, Phirani, Jyoti ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9084-5028 and Singh, Vikram;