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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R34P9D

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Solubility and diffusion of vanadium compounds and asphaltene aggregates Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
Solubility
Vanadium
Regular-Solution
Asphaltenes
Porphyrins
Flory-Huggins
Aggregation
Diffusion
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Dechaine, Greg Paul
Supervisor and department
Gray, Murray R. (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Choi, Philip Y. K. (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Stryker, Jeffrey M. (Chemistry)
Shaw, John M. (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Smith, Kevin J. (Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia)
Department
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Specialization

Date accepted
2010-01-26T22:40:25Z
Graduation date
2010-06
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
Most crude oils contain traces of vanadyl porphyrins within their asphaltene fraction. Although these metals are only present in trace quantities, they have a significant detrimental impact on crude oil processing units; therefore, their selective removal is highly desirable. The current work studied the interaction of these vanadyl porphyrins with asphaltenes using two approaches: 1) equilibrium solubility measurements of model porphyrins and 2) membrane diffusion measurements in dilute solution. Solubility measurements with model porphyrins showed that simple model porphyrins fit the operational definition for asphaltenes, exhibiting negligible solubility in n-heptane and orders of magnitude higher solubility in toluene. Measurement of the melting point properties enabled modeling of their solubility behaviour and showed that simple models incorporating solubility parameters (Regular solution and Flory-Huggins) were not capable of describing the observed behaviour. Diffusion measurements were done using model vanadyl porphyrins, asphaltenes, and petroporphyrins in toluene using a stirred diffusion cell equipped with ultrafiltration membranes (Ultracel YM® and Anopore®). The pore sizes were varied between 3-20 nm to retain aggregates while allowing free molecules to diffuse. The permeate was continuously monitored using in situ UV/Visible spectroscopy. These experiments determined that the size of the asphaltene aggregates at 1 g/L in toluene at 25°C were in the range of 5-9 nm. An increase in temperature results in an increase in asphaltene mobility but does not reduce the size of the asphaltene structures below 5 nm. Likewise, a decrease in concentration to 0.1 g/L did not result in a decrease in size. It was also observed that the exclusion of a large portion of the total asphaltenes by pores < 5 nm eliminates the absorbance of visible light (>600 nm) indicating the presence of Rayleigh scattering for the aggregated species in solution. The petroporphyrins are larger than the model vanadyl porphyrins as indicated by pore hindrance effects within smaller pores. An increase in temperature results in an increase in petroporphyrin mobility, although decreasing the asphaltene concentration does not. The mobility of the vanadyl petroporphyrins is affected by the origin of the sample (Safaniya, Venezuela, Athabasca) and is therefore not universal.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R34P9D
Rights
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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