Centre for Energy

Advanced distillation of petroleum fluids

One of the most important and informative engineering properties that is measured for complex fluid mixtures is the distillation (or boiling) curve.

For crude petroleum, the distillation curve can be divided into distinct regions that contain, respectively, gasoline, naphtha, kerosene, gas-oil and residue. The temperature at each of these cuts provides an idea of the volatility of each cut.

The use of advanced distillation apparatus gives more accurate distillation data than traditional true boiling point or simdist analysis.

In collaboration with the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), we have acquired an advanced distillation apparatus. This apparatus offers more accurate volume and temperature measurement, as well as online compositional analysis of the different distillate fractions. 

Detailed chemical analysis of the distilled fractions

Advanced distillation offers:

  • more accurate, thermodynamically based cut points
  • chemical characterisation of each distillate fraction
  • determination of enthalpy of combustion per distillate fraction
  • development of equation of state per fluid of interest.