Characterization of Oil Contaminants

Oil contaminants can range in both viscosity and molecular weight. The purpose of this work was to find optimal surfactant formulations to extract low viscosity (( 100 cp), high molecular weight (hydrophobic) oils. In surfactant formulation it is common to define the oil molecular weight (hydrophobicity) by virtue of its equivalent alkane carbon number (EACN); aka, how many carbons would there be in an alkane oil of equivalent behavior. Thus, since some crude oils behave similarly to hexane, and since hexane has an alkane carbon number of 6, these crude oils also have an

EACN of six. We thus define high molecular weight (hydrophobic) oils as having EACN values >10 and low molecular weight oils (hydrophilic oils) as having an EACN of < 6.

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