Paper presented to the 10th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, Florida, 14-16 July 2014.
One of the most recurring flow assurance problems in oil and gas industry is associated to the formation of organic and inorganic deposits in the wellbores and the near-wellbore regions. In particular, the depositions of asphaltene in wellbores represent both a major obstacle for petroleum engineers and a challenging topic for scientists. This paper focuses on experimental investigation of asphaltene deposition in transparent mini-channel. The working fluid is a mixture of heptane and crude oil. Induced by the addition of n-heptane, the dissolved asphaltene in crude oil precipitates to form asphaltene particles which deposit on the walls of the transparent mini-channel at ambient temperature. The thickness of asphaltene deposition is estimated using a visualization technique based on 3D microscopy. The thickness of the deposition layer is quantified and the two-dimensional profile of the deposition at selected axial section is measured. The obtained experimental results provide new insights into the deposition process in micro-scale and will be used to validate a developed numerical model.