Review of studies on asphaltene - wax interaction and the effect thereof on crystallization

  • Emiliano Ariza León Universidad Industrial de Santander.
  • Daniel Ricardo Molina Velasco Universidad Industrial de Santander.
  • Arlex Chaves Guerrero Universidad Industrial de Santander.
Keywords: Waxy crude oils, Asphaltene, Waxes, Crystallization, X-ray diffraction, Pour point, Rheological properties


This paper reviews the impact of asphaltenes on wax crystallization and on the properties of crude oils, and the consequences thereof on the flow assurance of waxy crude oil.  It initially includes studies of the crystallization of both pure n-alkanes as well as the mixtures thereof, because they have led to an understanding of how their precipitation occurs along with their transitions of crystalline phases, particularly, by studies of X-ray diffraction (XRD).  This is followed by the studies and results of crystallization in crude oils and/or the fractions thereof and how their properties are affected in the presence of asphaltenes.

The results on the influence of asphaltenes are inconclusive and sometimes contradictory: some confirm that their presence decreases pour point, others affirm that it increases it and yet others say there is no effect. Similar results have been reported for properties such as crystallization point, phase transition and rheological properties.  The influence of the chemical structure of asphaltenes on the change in crude oil properties has not been generalized either. It has been inferred that is possibly due to the interaction between aliphatic chains of asphaltenes and waxes, and it has been established that there is synergy in coprecipitation due to evidence in the analysis of organic deposits.


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How to Cite
Ariza León, E., Molina Velasco, D. R., & Chaves Guerrero, A. (2014). Review of studies on asphaltene - wax interaction and the effect thereof on crystallization. CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología Y Futuro, 5(5), 39-53.


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