Wax Behavior in Crude Oils by Pour Point Analyses

Crude oils containing large quantities of waxes, and in situations where sudden temperature drops occur, a crystalline network can be formed, generating flow difficulties in production, transfer and offloading lines. Despite the scientific and economic importance of this phenomenon, correlations between the behavior of petroleum in relation to its pour point are scarce in the literature. In this work, nine crude oil samples were characterized regarding density, water content, wax fraction (one- and two-dimensional chromatography), pour point, yield stress and wax appearance temperature. The results showed that the storage conditions and oil characteristics had a strong influence on the pour point. Yield stress was influenced by initial temperature of the sample, cooling rate and shear rate during cooling. Finally, the content of aromatic compounds in oil with low concentration of n-alkanes can contribute to increase the pour point.