Effect of Fe3O4 and Al2O3 nanoparticles on wax formation, morphology, and rheological behavior in crude oil

Document Type : Research Article


University graduate


In this work, Fe3O4 and Al2O3 nanoparticles were used to investigate their effects on wax formation, morphological characteristics, and rheological behavior in a crude oil sample. For this purpose, differential scanning calorimetry, cross-polarized microscopy, and viscometry have been utilized as the main experimental techniques. It was observed that Fe3O4 and Al2O3 nanoparticles had the most positive effect on the wax appearance temperature (WAT) of the crude oil by reducing the WAT from 24 0C to 14 and 17.5 0C at 100 ppm, respectively. Addition of the nanoparticles into the crude oil caused deformation of wax crystals to more spherical and regular structures. In addition, presence of the nanoparticles prevented formation of the strong three-dimensional lattice of wax structures at high temperatures. However, superior size-dependent properties of the nanoparticles are responsible for controlling the growth of wax crystal nuclei and reduction of the WAT. Findings of this work reveal the potential of Fe3O4 and Al2O3 nanoparticles as efficient and low-cost additives for production, storage, and transportation of waxy crude oil.


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