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

G. Tóth, Bjørn Kvamme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20259-20273
Number of pages15
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Volume17
Issue number31
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 21 2015

Fingerprint

Spinodal decomposition
Surface-Active Agents
Oils
oils
surfactants
decomposition
Phase separation
Molecular dynamics
Water
Liquids
water
molecular dynamics
Heptanes
Density of liquids
liquid-liquid interfaces
Petroleum
heptanes
Emulsions
crude oil
Adsorption isotherms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Phase field modelling of spinodal decomposition in the oil/water/asphaltene system. / Tóth, G.; Kvamme, Bjørn.

In: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Vol. 17, No. 31, 21.08.2015, p. 20259-20273.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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