Problem Statement. Detailed Crude Oil Analysis, including quantifying 7-15 boiling-point distillation fractions and sulfur and nitrogen impurities in each fraction, is critically important for a refinery to know the expected quantify of end products and the setups necessary to remove the sulfur and nitrogen impurities from those products during the processing. The traditional boiling-point distillation and the subsequent sulfur and nitrogen analyses are tedious (5-7 days analysis time and 10-20 days turnaround) and expensive ($3,000 -$8,000/sample). Those traditional analytical methods are also a “fixed-fraction” operation, meaning that if one wants to know a different option of fractionation, one needs to do another analysis accordingly. The traditional method produces hazardous materials in a laboratory and can’t be performed on-site.
Description. FAMU scientists have developed a much more convenient Multi-Element Scanning Thermal Analysis (MESTA) method to do a detailed crude oil fractionation analysis. This innovative technology can obtain all the information of the traditional method including the sulfur and nitrogen impurities in each fraction with a single analysis. The new method is much quicker (30 min. vs 3-5 d), inexpensive ($500/sample vs $3,000-$8,000/sample). The new method is a continuous fractionation method meaning that the results of one analysis contain all-possible-fraction information. There is no need to re-analyze of a sample, if one wants to know other options of fractionation. It produces no hazardous material in a laboratory and could become mobile for on-site analysis.