Improvement in transportability of Indian heavy crude oil using novel surfactant

Kumar, Ravindra ; Banerjee, Shirsendu ; Mandal, Ajay ; Naiya, Tarun Kumar


Rheological behaviour of Indian heavy crude oil has been investigated using novel surfactant, Brij 30. The results have been compared with addition of dilutants namely mineral oil and 3-pentanol. The effect of addition of additives on viscosity, yield stress and viscoelastic behaviour including non-Newtonian viscosity, elastic modulus, loss modulus, phase angle and complex viscosity and thixotropy are studied. The most efficient additive among the three is found to be Brij 30. Addition of 10% 3-pentanol, mineral oil and Brij-30 reduce the viscosity of crude oil by 79.75, 42.1 and 87%, respectively at 25°C. Yield stress reduces by 98% after addition of Brij 30. Thixotropotic area for crude is reduced to 9.11 kPa/s from 326.53 kPa/s after addition of 10% Brij 30. Brij-30 dropped interfacial tension of crude to a greater extent compared to other additives. FTIR studies show disappearance of C=O, C=C and NO2 groups in surfactant-crude mixture which indicate effectiveness of the Brij-30 surfactant. Brij 30’s efficiency as a surfactant may be employed to improve rheological characteristics of heavy crude oil for proper pipeline transportation.


Indian Heavy crude; Yield Stress; Thixotropy; Viscoelastic behaviour; Brij 30

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