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College Park, Maryland      June 6 - 10 , 2004

T1-A2 (9:00 AM): Neutron Scattering Study of Wax Crystal Modification by Crystallizable Polymers for Crude Oil Production

Robert K. Prud'homme, (Dept Chemical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544), H.S. Ashbaugh (Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545), A. Radulescu, D. Schwahn, D. Richter, L. J. Fetters (Institut fur Festkoperforschung, Juelich, Germany)

Self-assembly in organic phases is less well studied than self-assembly in aqueous phases in part because the driving forces for assembly are generally weaker in organic media. Crystallization, however, provides sufficient driving force in cases of wax precipitation from oil phases. We present results on the self-assembly of co-polymers in organic solutions driven by crystallization. Polymers of both di-block and randomly distributed crystallizable domains were studied. The interesting phenomena occur when these polymers co-crystallize with wax phases upon cooling. Using neutron scattering and rheology we present a picture of the mechanism of co-assembly that leads to sterically stabilized wax crystals. The proper tuning of polymer architecture provides a means to control gel formation in crude oil production process.

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