Development of Selective Tools for the Analysis of Heavy Crude Oil Components

Energy research will be a key research area for at least the next 10-15 years and analytical chemistry will play an important role in the production of improved energy resources. Unfortunately, sustainable sources are not yet available, meaning that society will still depend on fossil fuels. Here, crude oil from unconventional resources, such as oil sands and heavy components like asphaltenes, will play a large role as the quantities of the currently used light and sweet crude oils are diminishing and information to upgrade the heavy resources is needed.

Crude oil is the most complex natural mixture, containing more than one hundred thousand different compounds and providing a challenge to any analytical system. To analyze crude oil, accurate and high-resolution methods are required. Ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) plays an important role since it is the only method that can resolve such a complex mixture. Sample preparation and handling must be understood to provide selectivity for the analysis.

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