Hydrocarbon reservoirs are complex in their mineralogy and chemistry. Microfluidics offers an effective platform for rapid, in situ characterizations at experimental conditions that intend to simulate sandstone reservoirs (near wellbore, in production time scale). We have begun to examine the influence of the Al2O3/SiO2 ratio (an important characteristic of reservoir mineralogy) on asphaltenes precipitated in quartz packed-bed microreactors using in situ Raman spectroscopy (2D to 3D mapping), UV-vis spectroscopy, and pressure sensors. The reservoir matrix was created by injecting 707 nm·aggregate-1 HZSM-5 zeolite fine particles (a model aluminosilicate available with Al2O3/SiO2 ratios of 1/91 and 1/26) on a quartz bed. The methodologies were developed to identify the effect of the chemical interactions, giving insights about asphaltenes' sheet size (nm) and bed occupancy variations. Our results show that, in the precipitation process, an Al2O3/SiO2 ratio of 1/26 leads to 13% higher asphaltenes' sheet size and >10% higher bed occupancy compared to a bed with no Al2O3 particles. When increasing the ratio, the number of pore volumes required to plug the pore throats increases, leading to greater deposit thickness. Our findings support that the Al2O3 content delays asphaltenes' nanoaggregation and has higher selectivity toward bigger molecules.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology