Download the full-sized PDF of Diffusion Mechanisms Between Heavy Oils and Light HydrocarbonsDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Diffusion Mechanisms Between Heavy Oils and Light Hydrocarbons Open Access


Other title
Solvent Assisted Extraction
Heavy Oils
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Alizadehgiashi, Moien
Supervisor and department
John M. Shaw Chemical and Materials Engineering
Examining committee member and department
Natalia Semagina Chemical and Materials Engineering
Arno de Klerk Chemical and Materials Engineering
Arvind Rajendran Chemical and Materials Engineering
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Athabasca Bitumen and other heavy hydrocarbon resources are high-mean-molar-mass and structured organic materials with complex phase behaviors at the nano- and micro- meter length scales. Diffusion of light hydrocarbons, and non-hydrocarbons in these resources is of significant interest as new production and refining concepts that envision, for example, addition of light hydrocarbons and non-hydrocarbons to reservoirs to enhance production have begun to emerge. Composition-distance profiles arising during free diffusion scale as a function of the joint variable (distance/time^nw). Simple fluids are governed by Fickian diffusion, where nw = 0.5. For nanostructured fluids the value of nw can be as low as nw = 0.25, known as the single file limit but more typically the value for the exponent falls between these two limits and is composition dependent. In this work, five published data sets comprising free diffusion composition profiles for Athabasca bitumen fractions and for Cold Lake bitumen + light hydrocarbons obtained using diverse apparatus, are probed from this perspective. Additional experimental results are provided for Athabasca bitumen + toluene mixtures over the temperature range 273 to 313 K, and results from positive and negative control experiments for two well-defined mixtures: (0.25 mass fraction carbon nanotubes + polybutene) + toluene, and polybutene + toluene, are also provided. The values of the exponent nw are shown to be light hydrocarbon dependent. They increase from nw ~ 0.25 at low light hydrocarbon mass fraction up to nw ~ 0.50 at high light hydrocarbon mass fraction. An approximate solution to the composition profile arising during Single File diffusion is presented and used along with a standard composition profile for Fickian diffusion to simulate sets of free diffusion composition profiles in these complex mixtures. Three parameters: a Fickian mutual diffusion coefficient, a coefficient H fit to composition profile, and a composition dependent weighting function for the two diffusion mechanisms, are employed in the model. Outcomes, including Fickian mutual diffusion coefficients, order of magnitude estimates for Single File mobility coefficients and the roles of diluent type and asphaltene content on the controlling diffusion mechanism, and industrial implications are discussed.
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. 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.
Citation for previous publication
Alizadehgiashi, Moien, and John M. Shaw. "Fickian and non-Fickian diffusion in heavy oil+ light hydrocarbon mixtures." Energy & Fuels 29.4 (2015): 2177-2189.

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (PDF/A)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 8672783
Last modified: 2016:06:24 17:04:28-06:00
Filename: Alizadehgiashi_Moien_201508_MSc.pdf
Original checksum: b03d551a604b9ed27dcd98cc5b5ed928
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date