Asphaltenes, the most aromatic of the heaviest components of crude oil, are critical to all aspects of petroleum utilization, including reservoir characterization, production, transportation, refining, upgrading, paving, and coating materials. The asphaltenes, which are solid, have or impart crucial and often deleterious attributes in fluids such as high viscosity, emulsion stability, low distillate yields, and inopportune phase separation. Nevertheless, fundamental uncertainties had precluded a first-principles approach to asphaltenes until now. Recently, asphaltene science has undergone a renaissance; many basic molecular and nanocolloidal properties have been resolved and codified in the modified Yen model (also known as the Yen-Mullins model), thereby enabling predictive asphaltene science. Advances in analytical chemistry, especially mass spectrometry, enable the identification of tens of thousands of distinct chemical species in crude oils and asphaltenes. These and other powerful advances in asphaltene science fall under the banner of petroleomics, which incorporates predictive petroleum science and provides a framework for future developments.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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