The Study of Coprecipitation of Heavy Organics from Crude Oil

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International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume VII, Issue VI, June 2020 | ISSN 2321–2705

The Study of Coprecipitation of Heavy Organics from Crude Oil

Enyindah Lawrence, Okah Reminus*
Department of Science Laboratory Technology, Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic Rumuola, Port-Harcourt, Rivers-State, Nigeria
*Corresponding Author

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Abstract:- Heavy organics exist in crude oil mixtures in various proportions. The separation of these four organics into four popular fractions; Saturates, Aromatics, Resins and Asphaltenes commonly referred to as SARA has been highlighted. Coprecipitation of heavy organics can occur due to the variation of factors such as temperature, pressure and composition in the oil fields. Such occurrence has been recognized to be the most problematic in the oil industries as it causes the plugging of pipelines and reservoirs, fouling of production facilities and poisoning of refinery catalysts. The role of solvent precipitation as a solution technique to heavy organic coprecipitation and deposition has been highlighted. A modified version of ASTM D6560 laboratory test method has been described for small scale coprecipitation of heavy organics. Usage of n-pentane (C5), n-octane (C8) , and n-dodecane (C12) as precipitating solvents showed that C5, C8, and C12 n-alkane solvents gave percentage precipitate yields of 9.11, 3.24 and1.28 respectively. The results showed that the quantity of precipitates decreased as the carbon number of the n-alkane solvents increased.

Keywords; Coprecipitation, Heavy organics, Crude oil, n-alkanes etc.


Nigeria is a country naturally endowed with abundant reserves of crude oil. Crude oil is naturally occurring and consist of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbons are composed of light discrete components and a heavy end known as heavy organics (Abedi et al,1998). Crude oil has been the major source of energy, revenue, chemicals and foreign exchange for most countries including Nigeria. However, a major problem presently confronting the petroleum and natural gas industries is the untimely deposition or precipitation of solid organic compounds during production, transportation and storage of petroleum fluids. This deposition has resulted to complete clogging of flow lines and consequently leading to serious damages to storage vessels and processing equipment. The solution to many technological problems posed by such deposition lies on a good understanding of the multi-phase species which precipitate(Acevedo, et al 1995).