African Journal of
Pure and Applied Chemistry

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pure Appl. Chem.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0840
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPAC
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 363

Full Length Research Paper

Comparison of aromatics released via hydropyrolysis with their solvent extractable counterpart for biodegraded Nigeria crude oil

Ivwurie, W1*, Snape, C. E2 and Sun, C2
1Department of Chemistry, Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Delta State, Nigeria. 2Nottingham Fuel and Energy Centre, the University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, United Kingdom.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 03 August 2011
  •  Published: 30 September 2011


The molecular profiles of aromatics generated through hydropyrolysis with the free (maltene) counterpart were compared, with a view to assessing the effectiveness of using molecular information for the aromatics bound in asphaltene matrix for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon source apportionment studies. The results obtained from gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) total and selected ion molecular profiles of free and bound aromatics for Nigeria crude oil shows that the solvent extractible aromatics has either been heavily biodegraded or covered by humic materials arising from microbial activity and will therefore need further purification to resolve the aromatic hydrocarbons present. However, the aromatics released via hydropyrolysis (trapped in asphaltene matrix) are still preserved. The molecular profile of asphaltene derived aromatics is highly dominated by both alkylated parent and parent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons such as methyl fluoranthene and pyrene, benzo (b/k) fluoranthene.


Key words: Crude oil, aromatics, hydropyrolysis.