Rheology of Bitumen at the Onset of Asphaltene Aggregation and its Effects on the Stability of Water-in-Oil Emulsion

  • Author / Creator
    Mozaffari, Saeed
  • Asphaltenes are the heaviest fraction of bitumen. Asphaltenes not only play an important role in the high viscosity of bitumen but also in the water-in-oil (W/O) emulsion stability. Nevertheless, their exact function in the stability mechanism of W/O emulsion still remains unresolved. It is observed that asphaltenes are very inclined to form aggregates in organic solvents, especially in aliphatic solvents. The existence of such aggregates alters the rheological properties of bitumen in macro-and nanoscale. In this thesis, the focus of the study is on the role of asphaltenes aggregation on rheological properties of diluted bitumen. The influence of solvents with different degree of aromaticity on asphaltenes aggregation/precipitation is further investigated. Further, nanofluidic chips are designed and fabricated to enable us to inspect the fluid properties (such as penetration, velocity, and viscosity) in the nano-confinement geometry. Capillary-driven flow is used to transport pure solvents and diluted bitumen (with or without the presence of asphaltenes aggregation). Finally, theoretical predictions are applied to analyze and compare the data with the experimental values based on capillary filling phenomena.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.