Petroleum Resins: Separation, Character, and Role in Petroleum

Simon Ivar Andersen, James Speight

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In petroleum science, the term resin generally implies material that has been eluted from various solid adsorbents, whereas the term maltenes (or petrolenes) indicates a mixture of the resins and oils obtained as filtrates from the asphaltene precipitation. Thus, after the asphaltenes are precipitated, adsorbents are added to the n-pentane solutions of the resins and oils, by which process the resins are adsorbed and subsequently recovered by the use of a more polar solvent, and the oils remain in solution. The resin fraction plays an important role in the stability of petroleum and prevents separation of the asphaltene constituents as a separate phase. Indeed, the absence of the resin fraction (produced by a variety of methods) from the maltenes influences the ability of the de-resined maltenes to accommodate the asphaltenes either in solution or as a stable part of a colloidal system. In spite of the fact that the resin fraction is extremely important to the stability of petroleum, there is surprisingly little work reported on the characteristics of the resins. This article summarizes the work that has been carried out in determining the character and properties of the resin constituents. Suggestions are also made regarding current thoughts of the role of these constituents on the structure and stability of petroleum.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPetroleum Science and Technology
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)1-34
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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