Crude oil and fouling deposit characterisation

Like UNIHEAT Theme 1, this Theme addresses the crude oil fouling problem in oil refineries. This is extremely costly and leads to increased operating costs, greenhouse gas emissions, maintenance issues and safety concerns.

Theme 2 aims to improve current understanding of the mechanisms underlying fouling by characterising crude oils, crude blends and both lab and refinery fouling deposits. This will be achieved by using a wide array of advanced analytical methodologies such as X-Ray scattering, FTIR spectroscopic chemical imaging, NMR and others in order to study the dynamics of asphaltene aggregation, crude oil compatibility and the effect of chemicals on stability.


Key Objectives

  • To produce fouling deposits in controlled conditions
  • To measure and analyse physical and chemical properties of crude oils, crude blends and their deposits
  • To understand importance of oil composition on deposition formation
  • To test deposition mitigation strategies


  • Unique insights on chemical composition, structure and morphology of foulant species