In this paper, the effects of major asphaltene deposition model parameters, particle-particle collision, and particle-wall sticking efficiencies as well as asphaltene content in a hydrocarbon fluid on asphaltene deposition in both a Taylor-Couette device and production tubing are numerically studied. The possibility of an increase in asphaltene deposition rate as a result of adding asphaltene inhibitors is investigated. The computations show that this critical effect is achievable in a Taylor-Couette device operating in a batch regime only if the particle collision and the particle-wall sticking efficiencies are more than an order of magnitude higher than those identified for asphaltenes present in hydrocarbon fluids. Calculations of deposition in the Taylor-Couette device show also that an increase in the asphaltene content causes an increase in the rate of fluid depletion of particles able to deposit. The deposition calculations for a vertical pipe demonstrate that, due to continuous precipitation of primary particles along the tubing, a hydrocarbon fluid cannot be depleted of particles able to deposit; therefore the maximum deposit thickness always increases with an increase either in the major model parameters or the asphaltene content. Thus, the model parameter values indicating critical deposition regimes are different from those inherent to real hydrocarbon fluids; therefore, these regimes cannot be achieved in practical applications.
- Taylor-Couette device