Improving Efficiency of Crude Oil

Zainab Alhaddad is a Kawader Fellow, currently working as a research assistant in the field of chemistry under the supervision of Professor of Chemistry Panče Naumov.

Zainab Alhaddad research focuses on improving our understanding of asphaltenes, a class of chemical compounds found in crude oil that negatively impact production. For her Kawader project, Zainab aims to learn more about how processes related to oil extraction induce instability in the structure of asphaltenes, which then deposit on pipeline walls, blocking the flow of oil and causing significant financial losses for the industry. 

“As a Kawader Fellow, I want to focus on making methods of asphaltene detection in pipelines and oil reservoirs more efficient, and reevaluate the effectiveness of inhibitors used to prevent their deposition,” she said.

Zainab will use specialized tools to find a more efficient way to detect asphaltenes in crude oil or toluene solutions. In that goal, Zainab will work on the development of a real time sensor for asphaltenes in crude oil, which could provide scientists with important information about how to evaluate the efficiency of crude oil. 

Her findings could have a major impact on the oil industry in the UAE, improving methods of oil production and distribution, and preventing financial losses caused by asphaltene deposition in pipelines.

In addition to her primary project, Zainab will test different chemicals to see how well they can stop asphaltene from clumping together in different situations. Her aim with this study is to see whether asphaltene deposition could be prevented altogether, in a financially efficient way, thus revolutionizing oil production.

Throughout her work as a Kawader Fellow, Zainab is guided by her commitment to finding answers to some of the most pressing challenges faced by the oil industry. "The Kawader Program broadened my mindset, and introduced me to research fields I was not familiar with.”

What Zainab appreciates most about the Kawader Program is the guidance provided to her in pursuit of her interest in improving oil industry operations in the UAE.