A Phase-Behavior Study for n-Hexane/Bitumen and n-Octane/Bitumen Mixtures
- Jianyi Gao (University of Alberta) | Ryosuke Okuno (University of Texas at Austin) | Huazhou A. Li (University of Alberta)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- February 2018
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 128 - 144
- 2018.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Steam-assisted gravity drainage, Phase behavior, Steam-solvent coinjection, Bitumen
- 4 in the last 30 days
- 328 since 2007
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Steam/solvent coinjection has been studied as a potential method to improve the efficiency of conventional steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) for bitumen recovery. This research is part of an experimental program for phase behavior of Athabasca-bitumen/solvent mixtures.
This paper presents a new set of experimental data for phase equilibrium, viscosity, density, and asphaltene precipitation for 11 mixtures of Athabasca bitumen with n-hexane and 10 mixtures of the same bitumen with n-octane. Phase-boundary measurements were conducted at temperatures up to 160°C and pressures up to 10 MPa. The bitumen sample used in this research was studied in our previous research, in which the same bitumen was not effectively diluted by n-butane because of the coexistence of a butane-rich liquid with a bitumen-rich liquid phase.
In this research, the liquid/liquid separation of hydrocarbons was not observed for n-hexane/bitumen (HB) and n-octane/bitumen (OB) mixtures for the range of temperatures and pressures tested, even at solvent concentrations higher than 90 mol%. This observation indicates that the amount of solvent available near the edge of a steam chamber is expected to be entirely used for bitumen dilution beyond the chamber edge in coinjection of steam with heavier hydrocarbon solvents, such as n-hexane and n-octane.
Experiments for asphaltene precipitation at atmospheric pressure showed a larger amount of precipitates with n-hexane than with n-octane at a given solvent concentration higher than 50 wt%. For solvent concentrations less than 50 wt%, no asphaltene precipitation was observed for both solvents with the bitumen sample tested in this research.
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