Main content area

Comparison of Cubic-Plus-Association and Perturbed-Chain Statistical Associating Fluid Theory Methods for Modeling Asphaltene Phase Behavior and Pressure–Volume–Temperature Properties

AlHammadi, Ali A., Vargas, Francisco M., Chapman, Walter G.
Energy & Fuels 2015 v.29 no.5 pp. 2864-2875
chemical structure, equations, industry, models, oils, petroleum, prediction, temperature, thermodynamics
The tendency of asphaltene, the heaviest and most polarizable component of crude oil, to deposit and block wellbores and pipelines can potentially lead to production loss and significant cost of remediation. Asphaltenes constitute a particular interest in oil production because of the lack of understanding of their molecular structure and the mechanisms by which they precipitate and deposit. Because prevention is far less expensive than removal, a better understanding of asphaltene precipitation and deposition phenomena is of great importance for the oil industry. Precipitation, which is a necessary but not sufficient condition for deposition, requires accurate modeling of asphaltene phase behavior with respect to variations in the temperature, pressure, and composition. Over the past decade, cubic-plus-association (CPA) and perturbed-chain statistical associating fluid theory (PC-SAFT) equations of state (EOSs) have been proposed for modeling complex systems, such as asphaltenic crude oils. In this work, a comparison between CPA and PC-SAFT EOSs is presented to illustrate their potential and limitations on the prediction of asphaltene phase behavior and pressure–volume–temperature (PVT) properties of crude oils over a range of pressures and temperatures. With an optimized characterization, both EOSs are able to give acceptable predictions of the phase behavior and asphaltene precipitation tendency. However, PC-SAFT is superior in the prediction of derivative thermodynamic properties, especially at high pressures.