Characterization of fractionated asphaltenes by UV-vis and NMR self-diffusion spectroscopy

Jenny-Ann Östlund*, Piyarat Wattana, Magnus Nydén, H. Scott Fogler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Asphaltenes have been fractionated by liquid/liquid extraction, yielding four subfractions. The characteristics of fractionated asphaltenes were studied with respect to solubility, aromaticity, heteroatom content, and diffusion behavior. It was observed that asphaltenes from the four subfractions showed variations in their tendency to flocculate and also distinct differences in aromaticity. Furthermore, NMR self-diffusion studies showed that the average diffusion coefficients varied for asphaltenes from the different subfractions. The results suggest a variation in average size and stability between asphaltenes, depending on what subfraction they belong to. The subfraction that consisted of asphaltenes with the largest average size and the highest aromaticity was also found to contain the asphaltenes that had the strongest tendency to flocculate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-380
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Asphaltenes
  • Diffusion
  • Size and aromaticity
  • Solubility
  • Stability


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