The control mechanisms involved in the modification of wax crystal dimensions in crude oils and refined fuels are of joint scientific and practical interest. An understanding of these mechanisms allows strategies to be developed that lead to decreases in crude oil pour points or (for refined fuels) cold filter plugging points. The attainment of these goals involves the control and modification of wax crystals that spontaneously form in mixed hydrocarbon systems upon decreasing temperature. This work reports on the influence of random crystalline-amorphous block copolymers (ethylene-butene) upon the rheology of model oils. In a parallel fashion small-angle neutron scattering was exploited to gain microscopic insight as to how added poly(ethylene-butene) copolymers modify the wax crystal structures. The copolymers with different contents of polyethylene are highly selective with respect to wax crystal modification. Thus, the copolymer with the highest crystalline tendency is more efficient for the larger wax molecules while the less crystalline one is more efficient for the lower waxes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Materials Chemistry