Phenomenological continuum theory of asphaltene-stabilized oil/water emulsions
journal contributionposted on 03.11.2017 by Gyula Toth, Juri Selvag, Bjorn Kvamme
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In this paper we use a phenomenological continuum theory of the Ginzburg-Landau type to address emulsion formation in water/light hydrocarbon/asphaltene systems. Based on the results of recent molecular dynamics simulations, we first calibrate the model parameters and show, that the theory produces a reasonable equation of state. Next, the coalescence of oil droplets is studied by a convection-diffusion dynamics as a function of both the surface coverage and the viscosity contrast between the as- phaltene and the bulk liquids. We show, that, besides the traditional thermodynamic interpretation of emulsion formation, the timescale of drop coalescence can be con- trolled independently from the interfacial tension drop, which offers an alternative, solely kinetic driven mechanism of emulsion formation.
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.
- Mathematical Sciences