D-1187: Apparatus and Computerized Method for Predicting Asphaltene Precipitation Based on Aggregation Thermodynamics


The subject invention is a thermodynamic model that utilizes a non random two-liquid segment activity coefficient or (NRTL-SAC) and UNIQUAC Functional-group Activity Coefficients (UNIFAC) models to determine the solubility of organic solvents. This model allows for quick prediction of the precipitation of asphaltene qualitatively or semi-quantitatively.

Such determination of an asphaltene precipitation point is essential in the petroleum industry to avoid plugging issues during production.are found in crude oil and used in the production of road surfaces and roofing materials. Because of its complex molecular structure, asphaltenes negatively impact the production of crude oil by plugging pipelines which decreases production efficiency and increases operational cost.

Inside the reservoir, asphaltene precipitate can remain in suspension and diminish flow within the oil phase or created deposits that may plug the formation. Asphaltene precipitation is caused by a number of factors such as changes in pressure, temperature, and composition.

Reference Number: D-1187

Market Applications: Global market for Asphaltene and Paraffin Inhibitors is projected to reach US$1.0 billion by the year 2020, driven by increasing oil exploration and production activities and growing emphasis on paraffin and Asphaltene control systems against a backdrop of increased heavy grade crude oil production.Heavy offshore and deep-water drilling in countries such as Algeria, Angola and Nigeria is expected to drive growth in Africa in the coming years. Efforts to increase production in mature crude oil fields in North America is also expected to benefit sales.

Features, Benefits, & Advantages:

  • Flow assurance for crude oil pipeline network
  • Petroleum crude blending

Intellectual Property:

  • U.S. Utility Patent 11,177,021 issued Nov 16, 2021


Chau-Chyun Chen, Md Islam, Yifan Hao, Meng Wang, Prediction of Asphaltene Precipitation in Organic Solvents via COSMO-SAC, 31 Energy Fuels 8985, 8996 (July 30, 2017) https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.energyfuels.7b01129.

Development Stage: The invention has been reduced to practice.

Contact Information

Name: David P McClure

Email: david.mcclure@ttu.edu

Phone: 806-834-5899