Paraffins and wax occur naturally in crude oil. There is a potential for wax deposition at every step from oil production to refining. The wax deposits reduce the internal diameter of tubular transportation pipelines, restrict or block valves, and impede other production equipment. Severe wax deposition can lead to a complete stop in production; which can translate into millions of lost dollars in sales. The amount of wax contained in a crude oil sample varies, depending on the geographic source of the crude. In clear crudes the wax deposition gives the oil a cloudy appearance. This temperature is called the cloud point, or wax appearance temperature (WAT).
DSC is a very important tool for the oil field industry that allow for the measurement of the Wax Appearance Temperature, which is used to predict and prevent the occurrence of wax deposition. This application note describes how the capabilities of PerkinElmer DSC 8000 with its ease of use, multi-sample capability, and powerful analysis software that make it an ideal measurement tool for WAT.