Asphaltene removal

n-C5 Asphaltenes
Examples of the appearance (magnified 15 times) of asphaltenes
n-C7 Asphaltenes

Molecular Filtration, Inc. has developed a two (2) stage Patent Process to separate these unwanted compounds.


But what are Asphaltenes in reality?

There are many definitions for asphaltenes. Here are some definitions:

  • Large polycyclic molecules that are suspended in the oil in a colloidal form Insoluble, semi-solid or solid particles which are combustible and are highly aromatic
  • The heaviest component of crude oil, typically a waste product, at conventional oil sands projects
  • The high molecular weight hydrocarbon fraction precipitated from bitumen by a designated paraffinic solvent
  • Hard and brittle particles of asphalt which are highly aromatic and combustible Asphaltenes are molecular substances that are found in crude oil, along with resins, aromatic hydrocarbons and alkanes
  • Asphaltenes are characterized by fused ring aromaticity, small aliphatic side chains, and other elements including sulphur, oxygen, nitrogen, and metals such as vanadium and nickel.



There are two typical cases of fouling during crude processi

1. Organic Fouling

2. Inorganic Fouling


1. Organic Fouling

All organic fouling in the crude unit is due to insoluble asphaltenes. There are three modes of insoluble asphaltenes in crude oils: asphaltenes may be insoluble in the crude oil as purchased (self-incompatible), the asphaltenes may precipitate when crude oils are mixed (incompatible), and the asphaltenes may adsorb out of the crude oil onto metal surfaces (nearly incompatible)

2. Inorganic Fouling

Common inorganic foulants are iron sulfide, rust, sea salts, catalyst fines, clays or dirt and ammonium chloride. Iron sulfide and rust are corrosion products.

Get Optimized, run your refinery longer

Crude Oil Optimization
Click to enlarge - Crude Oil Optimization

Are asphaltenes clogging and corroding your pipes and preventing your furnace from running longer?

In 199 it was determined that two-thirds (2/3) of the cost of refinery fouling was int he crude unit

Why burning asphaltenes when you can separated?


Contact us

Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you.