The waxes in petroleum can precipitate and form unwanted gels and deposition when exposed to low temperatures. The idea of this chapter is to approach methods of quantification and physicochemical and morphological characterization of waxes and how this information can help in understanding this deposition. Information such as the quantity of waxes and the chemical structures in the oil is fundamental to predict the possible deposition and its ability to aggregate with other crystals. For example, the knowledge about the wax morphology may contribute to explain the nucleation and growth of the deposits. The polarized light microscopy, the most common technique to visualize wax crystals, and the bright-field microscopy, the most simple technique, able to show crystal details that have not been seen on the polarized light, was used.
Part of the book: Paraffin