Capillary Electrophoresis on Unconventional Fluids

Liu, Yafei
As the supply of conventional oil is fading, the world is increasingly dependent upon petroleum fluids from unconventional fluids such as asphaltenes. Thus, a better understanding of their properties is essential, and it can be achieved by using a microfluidic device to separate the samples according to their electric charges and then analyze them. The fundamental theory is that there are two cross channels in a microfluidic device, and due to electrophoresis flow and electroosmotic flow, samples carrying different charges will move at different speeds in the channels. Asphaltenes have multiple compositions; therefore, the separation of differently charged compositions will be achieved once the asphaltenes sample is injected into the channels and moves. However, the injection of the sample can be very difficult. Because there are positively charged components in asphaltenes, they can neutralize the negative charges on the surface of the channels and the electroosmotic flow stops. But this did not happen at all times. Sometimes the injection was possible, but it was not controllable. Thus, the separation of asphaltenes was not actually achieved. Another way of injection is suggested which is through a microfluidic continuous electrophoretic device.
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