Interaction between asphaltenes and fatty-alkylamine inhibitor in bulk solution
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Dispersion Science and Technology. 2018, 39 (2), 163-173. 10.1080/01932691.2017.1304221
In the present work, the mechanism of interaction between asphaltenes and a commercial fatty-alkylamine inhibitor was investigated by a combination of techniques. The “macro” properties, like the asphaltene precipitation onset and the amount of asphaltenes precipitated, were measured by near-infrared (NIR) and UV-vis spectroscopy, respectively, while the interaction enthalpy between asphaltenes and inhibitor was measured by isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Asphaltenes subfractions and derivatives were also used to identify the mechanism. ITC indicated that only a small fraction (∼6%) of asphaltenes interacts strongly with the inhibitor. The proportion of interacting species was found to be higher in irreversibly adsorbed asphaltenes subfraction. These 6% are mostly composed of acidic asphaltenes, as indicated by measurements involving ester asphaltenes. However, the measurement of precipitation onset and amounts precipitated for whole and ester asphaltenes indicated that the acid–base interaction was not the main interaction responsible for the inhibitory action. Other type(s) of interaction is/are responsible for the inhibition properties of the inhibitor, which are not detected by ITC. The nature of other interactions is not known for the moment, but it was shown that irreversibly adsorbed asphaltene fraction contains a higher concentration of the functionality (ies) responsible for the “other” type of interaction.