Crude oil analytics with high resolution mass spectrometry
Each crude oil fraction can be separated by solubility into saturated, aromatics, resins, and asphaltenes by the so-called SARA fractionation method. Asphaltenes are defined as the fraction which is soluble in toluene but insoluble in paraffinic solvents such as n-pentane, n-hexane or n-heptane. Crude oil with a small amount of volatile hydrocarbons, the so-called heavy crude oil, gains more and more in importance for the oil industry. Compared to light crude oils, heavy oils often have a higher content of asphaltenes which are related to many problems during the production and the refinery process, such as the formation of deposits inside the pipelines or catalyst poisoning. Thus, the investigation of asphaltenes is of scientific and industrial interest.
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