Fouling and Deposition

The Fouling and Deposition research theme at ICAM is concerned with understanding the processes and molecular interactions that underpin many of the fouling and deposition problems faced by the energy industry which result from asphaltene deposition, coking and scaling.
The causes and mechanisms of nucleation, aggregation and deposition are poorly understood which has led to the use of empirical observation and methods for predicting, preventing or mitigating fouling problems.  
ICAM research is helping industry to move from the current empiricism to a more robust understanding underpinned by scientific evidence. The research is making a difference for BP’s Upstream and Downstream operations by delivering:
  • a fundamental understanding of molecular structure and interactions through modelling leading to a better understanding of deposition and thus more reliable predictive models
  • a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of how surfaces influence both nucleation and deposition leading to better strategies for the prediction, prevention and mitigation of fouling
  • data that is currently unavailable leading to better models of deposition and fouling
  • characterisation techniques leading to quicker testing of inhibitors