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Probing the Molecular Interactions of an Asphaltene Model Compound in Organic Solvents and Aqueous Solutions by Surface Forces Apparatus (SFA) Open Access


Other title
Asphaltene Model Compound
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Wang, Jing
Supervisor and department
Zhenghe Xu and Hongbo Zeng (Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Hongbo Zeng (Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Zhenghe Xu (Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Tian Tang (Department of Mechanical Engineering)
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
A fundamental understanding of the molecular interactions between asphaltene molecules in bulk and at oil-water interface is of great value in crude oil production. Yet, the chemical composition and molecular structures of asphaltenes are not fully understood. The objective of this study is to investigate the similarity and disparity between an asphaltene model compound C5Pe and real asphaltene molecules in the context of interaction force profiles, molecular aggregation/adsorption at clay-solvent interfaces. The intermolecular and surface forces of C5Pe in organic solvents and aqueous solutions were directly measured by a Surface Forces Apparatus (SFA). Repulsive forces were observed between asphaltene (and C5Pe) surfaces in pure toluene, and strong adhesion were measured in heptane. pH, salt concentration and Ca2+ showed strong impact on the interaction of two C5Pe surfaces. Our results provide an important insight into basic interaction mechanism of asphaltene-type molecules and their interfacial activities in O/W and W/O emulsions.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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