Determination of Sara constituents of southwestern Nigerian tars sands and their Physical properties
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Utilization potentials of Nigerian massive crude bitumen and associated heavy oil represent a promising source of security and economic benefits for the nation. However, production and processing technology of tar sands resources is often limited by the existence of and distribution of chemical family groups in the crude bitumen. Such a limitation is presently experienced in Canada and elsewhere. To avoid similar scenario in Nigeria, it is believed that the characterization of Nigerian crude bitumen beyond the standard assay analysis will provide a key to how it will respond to recovery, processing and conversion processes. To address this concern, an experimental study was conducted to assess quantity of Saturates, Aromatics, Resins and Asphaltenes components of Nigerian crude bitumen and study possible effects of these components on production process and the environment. Results obtained from the chromatographic analysis of the raffinate and extract products revealed that Nigerian bitumen has high utilization potentials because of its high content of aromatics (29.80 wt. %). The results also indicate high content of asphaltenes (24.65 wt. %) indicating high implications on Nigerian bitumen production technology options. In addition, the implications of detected Vanadium, Nickel, Sulphur, and aromatics in the analyzed bitumen samples on the environment were equally discussed.