Application of ultrasonic wave technology as an asphaltene flocculation inhibition method Conference Paper uri icon


  • Based on series of crude oil rheological properties and asphaltene flocculation confocal microscopy analysis, Najafi et al., (2011) reported the existence of an optimum radiation time at which asphaltenic crude oils reach the minimum kinematic viscosity. Accordingly, they proposed the idea of asphaltene flocculation inhibition due to wave radiation.The present investigation is a continuous effort to provide more information about the process of flocculation inhibition. Confocal microscopy and rheological analyses are performed on different crude oils to prove the repeatability of the observed phenomena. The asphaltene content analysis was done based on IP143 procedure, which provides more viable conclusions in this study. By analysis of the results obtained from the experiments, one can conclude that ultrasonic wave radiation can be the most effective if the wave is radiated up to an optimum time. Around this time the oil has its local minimum value of kinematic viscosity, the least value of asphaltene content and least potential for formation of macro-structured flocsdue to reduction in aromatic to saturate ratio. More detailed studiesrevealed that during radiation timetwo main mechanisms are active in asphaltenic crude oil which is asphaltene particles disintegration and formation of asphaltene particles. Based on asphaltene content analysis, the optimum radiation time can be defined as the time at which the two mechanisms are having equal rate. The optimum radiation times are observed in different tests and are in good accordance with each other. According to the results obtained, ultrasonic wave technology can be a potential method of flocculation inhibition and can have extensive industrial application.

published proceedings

  • Saint Petersburg 2012 - Geosciences: Making the Most of the Earth's Resources

author list (cited authors)

  • Najafi, I., Amani, M., Mousavi, M. R., & Ghazanfari, M. H.

complete list of authors

  • Najafi, I||Amani, M||Mousavi, MR||Ghazanfari, MH

publication date

  • January 2012