By Carl L. Yaws and Manish Rahate, Lamar University |
The solubility of water in the hydrocarbons that comprise crude oil is an increasingly important issue in view of processing, safety and environmental considerations surrounding product quality and equipment sustainability. Water in the reacting hydrocarbon species may result in the formation of undesirable by-products. The presence of water in the product may be detrimental to quality. Water content at high enough levels in the products of a given hydrocarbon process may render the products unuseable by the customer. When chemical processes involve lowering temperatures to values near the freezing point of water, solids (ice or hydrates) can form. Such solid formation will affect both the fluid flow in piping as well as the operational characteristics of process equipment. For catalytic reactions, water in the hydrocarbon may poison the catalyst that promotes the desired reaction.
To illustrate the importance of water solubility in hydrocarbons, we offer the results of solubility studies involving water in benzene derivatives. The results for both solubility and Henry’s Law constant for water are provided in an easyâ€‘toâ€‘use tabular format for a wide variety of benzene derivatives contained in crude oil.
A new correlation…