Evaluation of Trace Metals and Physical Properties of Nigerian Crude Oil Saturate Fraction
Petroleum Science and Technology
Department of Chemistry, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Analyses of trace elements and physical properties of the saturate fraction of Nigerian crude oil were done in order to establish the characteristics that may aid the developmental processes of the natural resources. Crude oil samples were collected from three different oil fields in Niger-Delta area of Nigeria. The saturate fractions were eluted by column chromatography using n-hexane. The saturate fractions were investigated for functional groups using Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FT-IR); the elemental concentrations were determined using Atomic absorption spectrometry, while the physical properties (flash point, ash content, refractive index, and color) were determined using standard analytical methods. The results revealed that the infrared spectra of the saturate fraction of the Nigerian crude oil showed mainly the presence of C-H(CH<inf>3</inf>) and C-H(CH<inf>2</inf>) functional groups, indicating high purity of the samples. The concentrations of the analyzed elements (Mn, Cu, Co, Zn, Fe, V, Cr, and Ni) in the saturate fraction were generally low compared to other fractions of Nigerian crude oil. This study revealed that Co has the highest mean concentration of 1.81 ± 0.36 mg/L, while Mn has the lowest mean concentration of 0.04 ± 0.02 mg/L. The t test values for the comparison of the elemental concentrations of Nigerian crude oil /saturate fraction and crude oil asphaltene/saturate fraction showed significant difference (except Mn) with respect to Nigerian crude oil /saturate fraction. The cluster analysis for the elements showed two groups, which are fairly well correlated indicating similar source and similar chemical affinity. The cross-plot analysis of the Nigerian crude oil and its saturate using elemental concentrations as the variables showed a strong positive inter element correlation since (R2 = 0.71), establishing a relationship between the Nigerian crude oil and the saturate fraction. The color of the saturate fraction ranged from off-white to colorless. The results of analysis provide useful information on its conversion mechanism and environmental implications of the development of the fossil fuel deposit. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC 2015.
Absorption spectroscopy; Atomic absorption spectrometry; Chemical analysis; Chromatography; Cluster analysis; Column chromatography; Crude oil; Fossil fuel deposits; Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy; Functional groups; Hexane; Infrared spectroscopy; Manganese; Metal analysis; Oil fields; Physical properties; Refractive index; Spectrometry; Trace elements; Chemical affinities; Conversion mechanism; Element correlations; Elemental concentrations; Environmental implications; Fourier transform infrared spectrometry; saturate; Trace metal; Petroleum analysis