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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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Article information


Submitted
07 Nov 2017
Accepted
25 Jan 2018
First published
12 Feb 2018

This article is Open Access

RSC Adv., 2018,8, 6680-6689
Article type
Paper

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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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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