Document Type : Research Paper


1 M.S. Student, Petroleum Engineering Department, Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Petroleum Engineering Department, Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


This research aims to investigate the effect of microwaves on the physical and chemical properties of heavy crude oil in the presence of different minerals. In this regard, the physical and chemical changes of the oil and rock powder (sand and carbonate) mixture are investigated by microwave radiation. Viscosity and temperature changes of two samples are measured. IP143 and elemental analysis (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulfur) are used to extract and identify the composition changes of asphaltene. The viscosity and temperature changes show that for both samples at the beginning of microwave radiation, there is a decrease in viscosity due to heavy hydrocarbon particle cracking, such as asphaltene, and converting them into lighter ones. Light compounds evaporate by continuing the radiation and temperature increase; finally, the viscosity increases. The evaporation process in the carbonate powder sample starts earlier than in the sand powder. From elemental analysis, it is concluded that the sulfur and nitrogen in asphaltene decrease almost the same for both samples, and this decrease is more evident for sulfur; thus, the rock powder combined with oil does not have a significant effect on the reduction of these elements. The increase in IFT is also observed due to the evaporation of light oil compounds, and IFT increases further due to the higher temperature of the sample containing carbonate rock powder.


  • Microwave is more effective in the presence of carbonate rock powder;
  • Microwave reduces the sulfur present in asphaltene compounds;
  • Depending on the irradiation time, microwaves can reduce or increase oil viscosity;
  • The microwave heats the oil compounds selectively;


Main Subjects

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