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Issue 12, 2018, Issue in Progress
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On the use of nanomechanical atomic force microscopy to characterise oil-exposed surfaces

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Abstract

Oil-exposed surfaces are susceptible to carbonaceous deposits (CDs). In turn, deposits are responsible for fouling, compromising performance and reducing profitability across the hydrocarbon value chain. An understanding of the deposition behaviour of these organic molecules is therefore imperative. In this paper we address the question of understanding the deposition in upstream operation, where the CDs are known to be asphaltenes, the heaviest fraction of oil. Systematic characterisation of fouled oil-exposed surfaces constitutes an initial step towards that direction and it is a challenging task in itself. We demonstrate the use of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to map surface mechanical properties and how they can be used to determine differences between deposit types. We also demonstrate that the use of an adhesion inhibitor (AI) has a dramatic effect not only on the morphology but also on the mechanical properties of asphaltene deposits.

Graphical abstract: On the use of nanomechanical atomic force microscopy to characterise oil-exposed surfaces

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Nov 2017, accepted on 25 Jan 2018 and first published on 12 Feb 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7RA12209H
Citation: RSC Adv., 2018,8, 6680-6689
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    On the use of nanomechanical atomic force microscopy to characterise oil-exposed surfaces

    D. Kaimaki, B. E. Smith and C. Durkan, RSC Adv., 2018, 8, 6680
    DOI: 10.1039/C7RA12209H

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