Summary: The effect of un-saturates on low-temperature oxidation of crude oil
Sidqi A. Abu-Khamsin
Department of Petroleum Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi
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Low-temperature oxidation (LTO) of four Arabian crudes as well as blends of naphtha with a
super-light crude was investigated employing differential thermal analysis. The mass fraction
of un-saturates in the reactants varied between 0.2 and 0.9.
All reactants showed LTO peaks between 230 and 264 șC; heat flow at the peak, however,
varied widely. The data revealed a clear increase in LTO-generated heat as the reactant's
content of un-saturates increased. The lightest crude with 51.1 șAPI gravity and un-saturates
fraction of 0.2 showed the least LTO reactivity.
It is, therefore, concluded that the un-saturates content of a crude is an influential factor in its
LTO tendency and, thus, its potential for spontaneous ignition and other enhanced-recovery
techniques that rely on LTO.
Keywords: un-saturates; oxidation; thermal analysis
Low-temperature oxidation (LTO) is a slow, mildly exothermic reaction, which is prompted
whenever air contacts crude oil at temperatures normally encountered in petroleum reservoirs.