Direct Applicability to Industry:
The nature of asphaltenes in bitumen from oilsands extraction causes clogged pipelines and reservoirs and hinder efficient extraction and transportation of bitumen. They increase the complexity of water treatment and prevent efficient use and reuse of water resources.
Nature of Problem:
Asphaltenes have highly complex chemical structures that cause many problems from extraction to refinery. Fundamental understanding of their molecular interactions with water, solid particles and other bitumen components is crucial to aggregation control.
Financial and Environmental Impact:
Determining key molecular parameters that control asphaltene aggregation and interfacial activities will increase the quality of the bitumen treatment, maximize water use and reuse and minimize the environmental impact of oilsands production.
Lead PI: Hongbo Zeng
Co PI(s): Tian Tang, Qingxia Liu
Students: Mohammad Reza Poopari, Ling Zhang, Cuiying Jian