Influence of electric field on the viscosity of waxy crude oil and micro property of paraffin: A molecular dynamics simulation study

XJ Chen and L Hou and WC Li and SY Li, JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR LIQUIDS, 272, 973-981 (2018).

DOI: 10.1016/j.molliq.2018.10.097

Electrical treatment is a useful method for reducing viscosity of waxy crude oil. Molecular dynamics simulation was employed to study the influence of electric field on viscosity of waxy crude oil and micro properties of paraffin. The waxy crude oil model consists of light oil and 24.9% by weight of paraffin. The simulation results show that viscosity decreases when electric field is applied. The larger the electric field intensity, the greater the decreasing extent of viscosity. The electrical viscosity-reducing effect is better at lower temperatures. The radial distribution function and diffusion coefficient were analyzed for explaining the reason of viscosity decreasing. The radial distribution function results confirm that electric field promotes aggregation of paraffin molecules. Diffusion coefficient increases with the increase of electric field intensity. At the same temperature, the higher the electric field strength, the larger the increasing extent of diffusion coefficient. In a certain electric field intensity, the lower the temperature, the greater the increasing extent. The changing tendency of diffusion coefficient is consistent with the trend of viscosity reduction under electrical treatment. It is suggested that the change of dif- fusion coefficient is the main reason for electrical viscosity-reducing effects, the contribution of aggregation is smaller than increasing of diffusion coefficient. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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