Institute for Oil Sands Innovation (IOSI)

Rosette Nanotubes and Polystrene Microspheres for the Elucidation of Asphaltenes' Structure and Aggregation Behaviour

Our first experiments performed with the Rosette Nanotubes (RNTs) will involve expressing aromatic and hydrophobic functionalities on the RNT surface and its study as an asphaltene mimic. We will functionalize the G^C base monomer with an aromatic naphthyl moiety and a long alkyl chain (C12) and assemble it to form RNTs with this functionality expressed on its surface. We will then characterize the RNTs using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microcopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), dynamic light scattering (DLS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. After characterizing the RNTs, we will be able to compare the physical properties of these RNTs to those of asphaltenes using simple solubility and adsorption experiments, fluorescence and UV-Vis spectroscopy.

Earlier reports on asphaltenes have established that this amorphous material is composed mainly of polyaromatics and, to a smaller extent, hydrocarbons, metals and other high MW organic materials. Polyaromatics' main intermolecular aggregation forces are electrostatic in nature (included dipoles and multipoles, n-n interactions)

Principal Investigator: Hicham Fenniri
Research Team: Juan-Pablo Bravo-Vasquez, Andrew J Myles, Rachel Beingnessner, Shofiur Rahman, Shuuayn Gao

Project Number: COSI 2008-04
Close Date: August 31, 2010

Hicham Fenniri
University of Alberta