Characterization of asphaltene deposition process in flow loop apparatus; An experimental investigation and modeling approach

Ali Khorram Ghahfarokhi, Peyman Kor, Riyaz Kharrat, Bahram Soltani Soulgani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes the results of experimental tests in co-injection of precipitant agent/oil through a flow-loop setup to measure and characterize the deposition of precipitated asphaltenes along in-line test section. To do this, a novel experimental flow loop setup was designed and constructed to carry out the turbulent flow of oil (Re up to ≈7500) at desired oil-precipitant volumetric dilution ratio (DR), volumetric rate of flow and radial temperature gradient of the test section. Since the formation of deposit layer makes it difficult for the oil flow along the tube, change in pressure difference across the test section of setup was recorded along the time to measure the amount and extent of deposition process at desired condition. The experimental results revealed that, while radial temperature gradient of tube does not affect deposition process much, increasing the velocity of fluid across the tube further sweeps the precipitated particles from vicinity of wall before they have enough time to stick in contrary to oil-precipitant ratio; where the deposition rate is enhanced with increasing DR. Furthermore, these observations were thoroughly analyzed and with utilizing the concept of deposition efficiency, a new mathematical model proposed and verified for prediction of asphaltene deposition rate. The results of this work provide better insight into dynamics of asphaltene deposition and could create a better framework for conducting forthcoming experiments and developing new models of asphaltene deposition in pipelines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-340
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of petroleum science and engineering
Issue numberMarch
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Asphaltene
  • Deposition
  • Flow assurance
  • Precipitation

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