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Web Date: July 13, 2010

Crude Structure

Energy: Researchers observe liquid crystals in crude petroleum for the first time
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Environmental SCENE
Keywords: liquid crystal, petroleum, asphaltene, tar balls, oil

For the first time, researchers have observed naturally-occurring liquid crystals within the heavy fractions of crude oil (Energy Fuels, DOI: 10.1021/ef100376t). Studying these partially-ordered structures could provide scientists with new insights into petroleum's phase transitions and help them better understand how oil degrades at sea.

Scientists had previously found liquid crystals within purified petroleum products, but not within crude oil. Still John M. Shaw . . .

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