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Molecular Classification of Petroleum

A detailed knowledge of the exact chemical composition of crude oil and crude oil fractions is in high demand within the oil industry. Crude oils with similar or even identical bulk chemical properties can behave completely different. Examples include reacting differently in the refinery processes, where specific compounds and compound classes can cause catalytic deactivation.

Flow assurance interests are with polar compounds in crude oil containing hetero atoms such as nitrogen, sulfur and oxygen having a high contribution in deposition and clogging of pipelines. Even in oil exploration, the exact chemical class information can be useful for reservoir connectivity studies. 

Therefore, detailed information on relative abundances of those problematic compound classes is of major interest.

The relative abundance of compound classes, as well as detailed core structural information of classes based on ring and double bond equivalents can be derived by ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry.

Crude oils can be analyzed without any sample purification within minutes using different ionization methods (APPI, ESI, LDI). Mass spectrometric data are then processed using advanced software solutions (PetroOrg/Composer).

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