Crude oil is normally produced in remote areas and pipelines are the most energy efficient way of transporting it. Fresh Crude oil is relatively mobile however, at lower temperatures when it has to be transported long distances through pipelines, it gradually becomes thicker & sluggish, hampering its flow properties & making it difficult to pump.
Depending on the type & origin of crude oil, as the temperature drops the paraffin (wax) in the oil begins to crystallize in the form of needles and thin plates. As more wax crystallizes, these needles & thin plates turn into 3-D networks, dramatically increasing the viscosity of crude oil to the point where the oil forms into a gel (i.e. reaches pour point), & ceases to flow.
This deterioration in the flow properties of crude oil results in chocking of pipelines, valves and pumps. Also, as the crude flows through these pipelines, crystals of wax may be formed on its walls. These wax crystals then grow in size until the whole inner wall is covered with the wax layers. As the wax thickness increases, pressure across the pipe needs to be increased to maintain a constant flow rate, thus the power requirement for the crude transportation also increases.
To keep the crude oil flowing in the cold, there is a range of thermal (heating and insulating), mechanical (pigging) and chemical (additive treatment) measures. However, the most cost effective method is undoubtedly the chemical method. This method suggests the use of chemical additives such as Pour point depressants, which considerably improve the flow properties of crude oil.
Pour point depressants are polymers designed to interfere in the wax crystallization process, thus modifying the crystal structure of the paraffin present in the crude oil. These polymers are structured so that part of the molecule is like paraffin wax crystals and acts by providing nucleation sites and co crystallizes with the waxes. The other part of the structure is dissimilar to the wax crystals and blocks the extensive growth of wax matrices. Thus change in the crystal shape diminishes the ability of waxy aggregates to inter grow and inter lock, resulting in lowering the pour point of the crude.
CRISTOL Flow improver solutions are synonymous with high quality Flow improvers / Pour point depressants used in Crude oil transportation, Automotive / Industrial lubricants & Diesel fuel formulations. These include a broad range of products developed to provide the most cost effective solution to keep your products flowing in the cold.
CRISTOL-PPD EX Series is designed to make transportation of crude oil from the exploration site to the refinery smooth & trouble free. This series includes a range of flow improver chemistries, which have proven very effective in interacting with the wax crystal formation mechanism.