Naphthenic acid (NA) is one of the components of heavy crude oil. It is composed of a carboxylic acid functional group attached to a hydrocarbon molecule. Heavy crude oils with high concentration of NA are usually classified as poor quality oil and are sold at cheaper price. The presence of high concentration of naphthenic acid in crude oil often result in limited life span of equipment used in exploration and refining processes due to corrosion. In order to improve the quality of such crude oil and to save cost, it becomes very important to remove NA compounds from it. Researchers, as well as the oil and gas industries, have been working on how to overcome this challenge, and several techniques have been developed for the removal of naphthenic acid from the crude oil. This study thus envisages to present the various recent techniques available for the removal of NA from heavy crude oil. It has been seen that of all the recent physical and chemical methods that are available, catalytic-based methods are effective and their effectiveness depend on the temperature at which the catalyst is calcined as well as the surface area of the catalyst.
Part of the book: Processing of Heavy Crude Oils