The precipitation of n-paraffins (C18+) as wax crystals from crude oil can cause significant issues during production, transportation, and storage. The precipitation of paraffin wax can occur for a variety of reasons and while the paraffin content and composition of the crude is important; typically temperature or pressure changes are the main culprits.
The concept of paraffin wax inhibition centers around the disruption of the crystalline formation of the n-paraffins and keeping them dispersed in the hydrocarbon; however, producing below the PP or WAT creates various wax challenges. Climate, environmental concerns, handling and storage capabilities all play a role in product selection, as ensuring hydrocarbon flow and reducing downtime for blockage removal is critical.
Out of an extensive BYK product portfolio, we have tested and identified certain product groups which show an excellent performance as wax inhibitors and pour point depressants for crude oil.
BYK utilizes a specific emulsification process to produce wax emulsions in water. The products are very low viscous and storage stable. The wax base can cover natural occurring waxes but also semi-synthetic and synthetic waxes are available. For example, AQUACER 527 is a modified EVA copolymer wax with a solid content of 35 % in water. There are further wax emulsions in water which show a significant impact on reducing the pour point of crude oil even to below 32 °F.
These products also show a reduction in crude pour point, in spite of the fact, they were developed for a different industry. The most efficient products are within the hyperbranched polyamines, such as DISPERBYK-2150 and DISPERBYK-140, while the fatty acid based chemistry, such as the ANTI-TERRA-U 100, also provides a significant impact as a PPD for crude. These chemistries offer a high degree of flexibility to tailor made product offerings for specific crude oil properties.