Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Mechanical Engineering

Senior Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 8991j.wong




671City and Guilds BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Campen, S and Moorhouse, SJ and Wong, JSS},
doi = {10.1016/j.petrol.2019.106502},
journal = {Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering},
title = {Mechanism of an asphaltene inhibitor in different depositing environments: Influence of colloid stability},
url = {},
volume = {184},
year = {2020}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Additives are used to reduce unwanted carbonaceous deposits of asphaltenes on surfaces during petroleum production from natural oil and gas reservoirs. The working mechanism of formulated additive packages can be multifaceted. Additives may be effective in the bulk fluid by preventing asphaltenes aggregation, as well as at the surface by preventing asphaltenes adhesion. In this paper, we investigate the numerous different mechanisms by which an asphaltene inhibitor can interfere with the formation of carbonaceous deposits using a combination of techniques including dynamic light scattering to determine particle size distribution, quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring to examine deposition behaviour and atomic force microscopy to probe deposit morphology. The tested inhibitor prevents deposition of asphaltenes in toluene, where asphaltenes exist as a stable colloidal dispersion of nanoaggregates, by forming barrier-type films that inhibit asphaltenes adhesion and displacing adsorbed thin films of asphaltenes. However, inhibitor performance in heptane-toluene, where asphaltenes are destabilised, depends on the degree of destabilisation. At low heptane volume fraction, inhibitor slows the rate of deposition and deposition rate decreases with increasing inhibitor concentration. However, at high heptane volume fraction, inhibitor can increase the deposition rate, particularly when used in high concentration. At high heptane volume fraction, inhibitor addition alters the morphology of the deposit from that consisting of large flocculent aggregates to that consisting of smaller, submicrometer aggregates. This is consistent with the finding that inhibitor acts as an anti-agglomerant and prevents the formation of large aggregates in the bulk liquid. This paper shows that the impact of inhibitor addition depends on the environmental conditions encountered and the degree of destabilisation of the asphaltenes. Where inhibitor addition alters the nature of depo
AU - Campen,S
AU - Moorhouse,SJ
AU - Wong,JSS
DO - 10.1016/j.petrol.2019.106502
PY - 2020///
SN - 0920-4105
TI - Mechanism of an asphaltene inhibitor in different depositing environments: Influence of colloid stability
T2 - Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 184
ER -