Kinetic Study of Controlled Asphaltene Inhibitor Release from Nanoemulsions

Mahmoud Alhreez, Xin Xiao, Dongsheng Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Asphaltene aggregation and subsequent precipitation in the nonpolar medium may have a profound effect on plugging wellbores and production equipment. Continuing our work on controlled release of asphaltene inhibitor (AI) by using nanoemulsions (NEs), this work provides new evidence about long-term asphaltene stability by using optical measurement and reveals the kinetic processes of inhibitor transport/release mechanisms. Multiple light scattering (Turbiscan) and dynamic light scattering have been used to study "in situ" the effectiveness and performance of the proposed controlled release in three cases of asphaltene aggregation/precipitation in the presence of: (i) strong organic acids (dodecyl benzene sulfonic acid, DBSA), (ii) NEs (blank NEs), and (iii) NEs loaded with DBSA (DBSA NEs). The results suggested that the new approach reduced the amount of AI by ∼20 times and achieved high asphaltene inhibition efficiency of ∼84% with a prolonged release time. A mechanistic understanding of the controlled release effect was proposed based on the effect of DBSA NEs on the asphaltene particle morphology variation, which was related to the hydrophilicity of DBSA and the strong intermolecular interactions among all DBSA NE components. The release mechanism of the AI from the NE was evaluated using eight release models and was found to follow the Korsmeyer-Peppas kinetic model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10795-10807
Number of pages13
Issue number33
StatePublished - 20 Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


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