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Phase field modelling of spinodal decomposition in the oil/water/asphaltene system

journal contribution
posted on 06.11.2017 by Gyula Toth, Bjorn Kvamme
In this paper the quantitative applicability of van der Sman/van der Graaf type Ginzburg–Landau theories of surfactant assisted phase separation [van der Sman et al., Rheol. Acta, 2006, 46, 3] is studied for real systems displaying high surfactant concentrations at the liquid–liquid interface. The model is applied for the water/heptane/asphaltene system (a model of heavy crude oil), for which recent molecular dynamics (MD) simulations provide microscopic data needed to calibrate the theory. A list of general requirements is set up first, which is then followed by analytical calculations of the equilibrium properties of the system, such as the equilibrium liquid densities, the adsorption isotherm and the interfacial tension. Based on the results of these calculations, the model parameters are then determined numerically, yielding a reasonable reproduction of the MD density profiles. The results of time-dependent simulations addressing the dynamical behaviour of the system will also be presented. It will be shown that the competition between the diffusion and hydrodynamic time scales can lead to the formation of an emulsion. We also address the main difficulties and limitations of the theory regarding quantitative modelling of surfactant assisted liquid phase separation.

Funding

This work has been supported by the VISTA basic research programme project No. 6359 ‘‘Surfactants for water/CO2/hydrocarbon emulsions for combined CO2 storage and utilization’’ of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and the Statoil.

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematical Sciences

Published in

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys.

Volume

17

Issue

31

Pages

20259 - 20273

Citation

TOTH, G. and KVAMME, B., 2015. Phase field modelling of spinodal decomposition in the oil/water/asphaltene system. Physical Chemistry, Chemical Physics, 17 (31), pp.20259-20273.

Publisher

Royal Society of Chemistry (© the Owner Societies)

Version

NA (Not Applicable or Unknown)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2015

ISSN

1463-9076

eISSN

1463-9084

Language

en

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