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What is a good substitute for crude oil in the lab?

What is a good substitute for crude oil in the lab?

(OP)
We are running some experiments on the low temperature properties of oil. The device we are testing will eventually be used with crude oil and I would like to find a reasonable off the shelf substitute we can use for debugging our experimental setup and preliminary testing. Im thinking something along the lines of motor oil. Any suggestions?

RE: What is a good substitute for crude oil in the lab?

Generally you might add various quantities of paraffin waxes, sand, dirt, salts, water, sulfides, and some methane, carbon dioxide and nitrogen gas to the worst and oldest mixture of motor oils you can find, however without knowing more about what your experiment is designed to do, it's very difficult to suggest anything more sensible.

There's got to be some oil wells near you somewhere. Go stake one out that has some tanks on the site and wait around until the truck comes and empties the tanks. Or go to the nearest refinery and find the first truck pulling up to unload, then ask the driver if he wouldn't mind if you "borrowed" some of it.

Learn from the mistakes of others. You don't have time to make them all yourself.

RE: What is a good substitute for crude oil in the lab?

and toss in a bit of bitumen and gasoline, just to round out the recipe.

you must get smarter than the software you're using.

RE: What is a good substitute for crude oil in the lab?

crude oil is a very complex mixture of various CH structures with a very large variety in volatility, pourpoint etc, resulting from their chemical structure. crude oil can also vary quite a bit depending on where it was surfaced - some may be rather fluid and contain a lot of naphtenes, others may be very viscous with a large part of long chain alkanes. add to this varying amounts of water, dirt, sulphur etc and you will understand that there is no simple substitute fluid that can be used to represent all the varying crude oils.

a refinery should be able to help you out, but since they tend to process crude in very large quantities it may be difficult to find somebody willing to help you out with the small samples you need.

your best bet might be a research facility that is doing work on crude oil processing. they tend to have access to small amounts of various crude oils and may be willing to supply you.

RE: What is a good substitute for crude oil in the lab?

Fr3nch,
A question that has not been asked (nor has it been answered by you) is how much ersatz Oil do you need?

prognosis: Lead or Lag

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