2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Effectiveness of Asphaltene Nanoaggregate Inhibitors 

Abigail R. Held
Dr. Bill R. Miller, Faculty Mentor

Asphaltenes are aromatic hydrocarbons that form nanoaggregates within oil pipes. An important factor in nanoaggregate formation is pi stacking. The purpose of this project is to characterize the aggregation tendencies of systems with roughly 50 residues of a single asphaltene structure in different solvents with varying levels of p character; specifically diethyl ether, methanol, and water. We hypothesize that solvents with more p character will inhibit nanoaggregate formation because the p orbitals of the solvent will “stack” with the p orbitals of the asphaltenes, as opposed to the asphaltenes stacking with each other. Furthermore, known inhibitors of aggregation were also simulated in each solvent at concentrations of 0.01M. These inhibitors include limonene, 4-nonylphenol, dodecylbenzene sulfonic acid, and magnesium (which was simulated at 0.2M and neutralized with chloride). This was done for the purpose of characterizing the effectiveness of each inhibitor in constraining nanoaggregate formation. 

Keywords: Asphaltenes, pi stacking, nanoaggregate formation, inhibitors


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 204-1
Location: MG 1098
Time: 9:30

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