By Oliver C. Mullins, Eric Y. Sheu, Ahmed Hammami, Alan G. Marshall
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Additional resources for Asphaltenes, Heavy Oils, and Petroleomics
2 Asphaltene Molecular Size and Weight by Time-Resolved Fluorescence Depolarization Henning Groenzin and Oliver C. Mullins 1. 1. Overview The most important attribute of any chemical compound is its elemental constituents. There is, fortunately, no uncertainty about the elemental composition of asphaltenes. The second most important attribute of any chemical compound is its molecular structure and, as a prerequisite to that information, molecular weight. Although the set of structures of individual chemical units constituting asphaltene, such as the number of fused aromatic rings, length of aliphatic chains, and common functional groups is mostly agreed upon, the asphaltene molecular weight has been the subject of a large and long-standing controversy.
3) 28 Henning Groenzin and Oliver C. 4. Schematic showing the PTI C-72 system used to perform the fluorescence depolarization measurements. A pulsed nitrogen laser pumps a tunable dye laser providing the start time for fluorescence excitation. A high voltage pulse on the PMT provides the stop time for fluorescence emission. Fluorescence intensity is plotted vs delay time for different polarizations. where I|| (t) and I⊥ (t) denote the intensity of detected light linearly polarized parallel and perpendicular to the linearly polarized excitation and r (t) represents the anisotropy of the fluorescence emission.
The τr ’s obtained for the asphaltenes are all shown to be small and comparable to standard aromatic dyes that are on order 750 g/mol. The smallest asphaltene molecules are comparable in size to alkyl porphyrins ∼500 g/mol. These results are in accord with all mass spectral results that do not use laser desorption, and some mass spectral results that do use laser desorption. A variety of source materials for asphaltenes are used as well as various solubility subfractions of asphaltenes. Related samples are also measured.