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Using Enzymatic Combinations to Reduce Asphaltene Aggregation

dc.contributor.advisorDas, Siddhartha
dc.contributor.authorAbolafia, Julia
dc.contributor.authorCowan, Jack
dc.contributor.authorHarrison, Anna
dc.contributor.authorHensley, Jackson
dc.contributor.authorKim, Danme
dc.contributor.authorKo, Wing-Mei
dc.contributor.authorLe, Megan
dc.contributor.authorManivannan, Hema
dc.contributor.authorRivera Rubio, Lorena
dc.contributor.authorSarker, Prateeti
dc.contributor.authorTyagi, Radhika
dc.date.accessioned2018-06-22T17:38:51Z
dc.date.available2018-06-22T17:38:51Z
dc.date.issued2018
dc.identifierhttps://doi.org/10.13016/M2VX0661C
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1903/20667
dc.description.abstractTeam BACTERIA’s research aims to determine an optimal mixture of enzymes produced by fungi that would effectively reduce asphaltene aggregation in heavy crude oil, also known as bitumen. One of the biggest challenges associated with handling heavy crude oil is the asphaltene aggregation, which leads to a spontaneous flocculation that causes clogging of the pipelines. The key to impede the flocculation is preventing the formation of the asphaltene nanoaggregation by reducing the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) within the asphaltene. Conventional methods of asphaltene de-flocculation utilize chemicals that are both energy-intensive and expensive, while a biological method can improve the sustainability of heavy crude oil refinement. In this study, extensive experiments were conducted to determine whether the enzymes laccase and chloroperoxidase reduced flocculation by oxygenation, thereby reducing PAHs and increasing the oxygen-containing functional groups. A combination of these enzymes was also tested to determine whether the combination of enzymes would be more effective at degrading asphaltene than the individual enzymes. Enzymatic treatment of asphaltene demonstrated a significant reduction in flocculation when compared to untreated asphaltene, but the combination of laccase and chloroperoxidase did not exhibit a significant reduction in flocculation when compared to the individual enzymes. Based on the results of the flocculation tests and FTIR analysis, the team provided for the first time an example mechanism of the chemical pathways of such enzyme-mediated asphaltene degradation. This research, therefore, offers possibly the first comprehensive and systematic investigation of the technique of enzyme-mediated asphaltene oxygenation and degradation.en_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.subjectGemstone Team BACTERIAen_US
dc.titleUsing Enzymatic Combinations to Reduce Asphaltene Aggregationen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.relation.isAvailableAtDigital Repository at the University of Maryland
dc.relation.isAvailableAtGemstone Program, University of Maryland (College Park, Md)


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