PII: S00162361(97)000902
ELSEVIER
Fuel Vol. 76, No. l 1, pp. 10491056, 1997
1997 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved
Printed in Great Britain
00162361/97 $17.00+0.00
Viscosity correlation with specific
gravity and molecular weight of
crude oil fractions
Takeshige Wakabayashi
National Institute for Resources and Environment, 1630nogawa, Tsukuba 305, Japan
(Received 7 July 1996; revised 3 March 1997)
An attempt is made to correlate the viscosity of crude fractions with other characteristics. The following equation
is derived by stepwise multiple regression:
log v = 1.37(d log M) 2 + 16.12(d log M)  2 _ 9.06
where v is the kinematic viscosity (mm2s ~) of the crude fraction at 50C, d the specific gravity and M the
molecular weight. The calculated viscosity has an average absolute deviation of 15.9%. Comparison between the
average deviation calculated from the equation and that from local correlations for connate crude fractions shows
that this equation is applicable not only to a variety of crude fractions but also to those belonging to a specific
group. 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.
(Keywords: crude oil fractions; viscosity; p r e d i c t i o n )
Information on the viscosity of oil fractions and their
mixtures is of considerable importance for estimating
transport properties in petroleum processing. The effect of
temperature or characteristics of oil on its viscosity is
especially noteworthy. Typical viscositytemperature correlations are:
log v = a + b / T
(1)
log[log(v + 0.7)] = a + b log T
(2)
where v is the kinematic viscosity at temperature T, and a
and b are constants. Andrade derived a formula for the
variation of viscosity with temperature, based on a theoretical analysis of liquid viscosity 1. The use of kinematic
viscosity in his formula results in the same form as Equation
(1), which has been shown to be applicable to crude fractions 2. Equation (2) is standardized for liquid hydrocarbons
by ASTM 3.
Studies on the effect of characteristics of petroleum oil
have provided some relations for predicting viscosity. The
viscosity is standardized by ASTM in relation to the
molecular weight 4 and has been shown to vary inversely
with the specific gravity of steamcracker oils 5. Studies of the
constants in viscositytemperature correlations could also
suggest suitable characteristics which are related to the
viscosity.
Amin and coworkers expressed the constant a as a
function of the average boiling point Tb and the specific
gravity d, and the constant b as a function of Th in Equation
(1), for American 2 and Saudi Arabian 6 crude fractions
respectively. This means that the kinematic viscosity is
expressed as a function of Tb and d of the crude fraction at a
given temperature. Such relations between the viscosity and
characteristics of liquid were also revealed in a study of the
estimation of the K factor of lube base oils from their
characteristics 7 and in application of a correspondingstates
model of nonpolar liquids for estimation of the viscosity of
petroleum fractions,8 although the forms of these relations
differed. The above Saudi Arabian crude fractions also have
different forms of relation. The constants a and b were
recently expressed by Amin and Beg 9 in modified form as
functions of molecular weight M and of Tb, M and d,
respectively.
The constants a and b in Equation (2) have been shown to
be linearly proportional to log M for Cold Lake bitumen
fractions I. The constant a in Equation (2) has alternatively
been expressed 11 as a function o f d for Middle Eastern crude
oils at atmospheric pressure, when b =  3.5. Moharam et
aI. ~2 developed the following empirical correlation on the
basis of Equation (2):
log(log v + 3.242) = 0.0183 + b / T
where b is a function of Th and d.
There is no unified relation between viscosity and
characteristics which is applicable to a variety of petroleum
fractions, and the viscosity of petroleum oil and its fractions
is expressed as several functions of the molecular weight,
the specific gravity and the average boiling point, as
mentioned above. Such inconsistency may be due to the fact
that any relation was derived from experimental data on
fractions originating from only one bitumen or on connate
oils.
The aim of the present work was to develop a new
consistent relation between the viscosity of various kinds of
crude fraction, including bitumen, and characteristics that
can be easily measured. Since the contribution of any
Fuel 1997 Volume 76 Number 11
1049
Viscosity correlation of crude oil fractions: T. Wakabayashi
Table 1 Properties of heavy crude oils
Crude oil
Specific gravity
(15/4C)
Molecularweight
Conradsoncarbon
residue (wt%)
H/C atomicratio
Aromaticity"
Viscosityat 50C
(mm2s=)
Oil sand bitumens b
Athabasca(GCOS)
0.9973
468
11.7
1.46
0.39
857
Athabasca(ARC)
1.0155
518
13.2
1.48
0.39
2280
Cold Lake 1
0.9804
466
12.6
1.49
0.39
498
Cold Lake2
0.9944
497
13.7
1.45
0,39
1049
Orinoco Merry
1.0007
549
16.3
1.46
0.37
3369
Orinoco Morichal
1.0087
579
15.5
1.45
0.38
8337
Arabian Light
0.9521
463
8.23
1.57
0.31
160.2
Kuwait
0.9643
524
10.18
1.55
0.32
404.6
Khafji
0.9821
567
13.73
1.50
0.34
Gach Saran
0.9594
503
9.60
1.54
0.32
353.7
Agha Jari
0.9529
478
8.22
1.54
0.31
225.6
Taching
0.9086
563
4.35
1.74
0.20
139.5
Shengli
0.9446
593
8.54
1.62
0.28
839.9
Topped crudes
1344
aRatio of aromatic carbon to total carbon atoms calculated according ref. [14]
bGCOS, Great Canadian Oil Sands, commercial plant, openpit mining; ARC, Alberta Research Council, pilot plant, openpit mining; Cold Lakel, in situ
discontinuous recovery in pilot plant; Cold Lake2 in situ continuous recovery in pilot plant
characteristic to the viscosity cannot be theoretically
analysed, because of the complex molecular composition
of crude fractions, it has been determined by multiple
regression analysis.
0.7 
0.6
EXPERIMENTAL
Materials
Benzene (extrapure) was used to remove water, salt etc.
from crude oil sand bitumens. The extracted oil sand
bitumens Iwere heated to 200C at atmospheric pressure to
evaporate the benzene. Topped crudes were residues
distilled from corresponding crudes at 0.133 kPa. The
boiling point of the topped crudes was > 340C at
atmospheric pressure.
Measurements
Specific gravities were determined pycnometrically.
Molecular weights of the oil sand bitumens and topped
crudes (hereinafter described as the two bitumens) dissolved
in benzene were determined with a vapourphase osmometer at 318 K. Elemental composition was determined
with an instrumental analyser.
Relative viscosities were calculated from flow rates in a
capillary viscometer of CannonFenske type. Proton n.m.r.
spectra of the two bitumens dissolved in carbon tetrachloride (extrapure) were measured with a JEOL JMNMH100 spectrometer. Conradson carbon residues were
determined according to JIS standard K2270.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Properties of the two bitumens are shown in Table 1. The
aromaticity was calculated from data on the elementary
analysis, the proton distribution determined from n.m.r, data
on the basis of Chamberlain's rule 13, and the molecular
weight according to the procedure of Speight 14.
Application o f published correlations to the two bitumens
An attempt was made to correlate the viscosity at 50C
with the specific gravity or the molecular weight for the two
1050
Fuel 1997 Volume 76 Number 11
5
+
tl I
0.5 
o
do
fill
o , . ,O"
0.4 ..,O'
O
0.3 
o.2
2.60
2.65
2.70
2.75
2.80
log M
Figure 1 Double logarithm of viscosity as a function of
logarithm of molecular weight for (0) oil sand bitumens and (O)
topped crudes
bitumens by the following published relations 5'j'fl:
log v = a + b/d
(3)
log[log(v + 0.7)] = a + b log M
(4)
log[log(v + 0.7)] = a + bd + cd 2
(5)
where c is a constant. (Note: here and below, 'log' signifies
logarithm to base 10.) The logarithm of the viscosity is
shown to be correlated with reciprocal specific gravity for
both the two bitumens at the 95% confidence level, with
comparable values of the correlation coefficient for different
levels of significance iS. However, it is difficult to define a
general correlation between viscosity and reciprocal specific
gravity, since the correlation coefficient of 0.817 is too low,
and because there is no correlation for oil sand bitumen
alone or topped crude alone.
Viscosity correlation of crude oil fractions: T. Wakabayashi
0.7 
0.6
~" 0.5
+
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.85
0.90
0.95
1.00
1.05
Figure 2 Double logarithm of viscosity as a function of specific
gravity for (O) oil sand bitumens and () topped crudes
more viscous in a comparison between oils of similar
molecular weight.
The viscosity seems to be correlated more with the
specific gravity than with the molecular weight for both
bitumens (Figure 2), and the correlation is statistically
significant at 95%. However, it has the following problems.
There is no correlation for oil sand bitumen alone or topped
crude alone. The curve in Figure 2 is concave upward, but
the corresponding curve for Middle Eastern crude oil is
convex upward in almost the same range of specific
gravity ~l. These results suggest that Equation (5) also is
inadequate to correlate viscosity with specific gravity for
different kinds of heavy oil.
It follows from the above that the viscosity is related to some
extent to the specific gravity or the molecular weight, and also
cannot be expressed as a function of specific gravity alone or of
molecular weight alone. Therefore the viscosity has to be
expressed as a function of two or more characteristics.
Development of new correlations at 50C
Selection of characteristics. Only characteristics that
Table 2 Correlation coefficients of relations between characteristics
Molecular weight
Specific gravity
13
Oil sand bitumens and topped crudes
Molecular weight
Specific gravity
Conradson carbon residue
Atomic ratio H/C
1.0000
 0.0911
 0.0911
1.0000
0.0996
0.9262
0.2734
 0.9394
 0.3375
0.9458
Molecular weight
1.0000
0.5644
Specific gravity
0.5644
1.0000
Conradson carbon residue
0.5209
0.9391
 0.5717
 0.9764
Aromaticity
10
Vacuum residues"
Atomic ratio H/C
Aromaticity
0.4836
0.9917
Softening point
0.8868
0.5102
(8)
20
Saudi Arabian crude fractions b
Molecular weight
1.0000
Specific gravity
0.9918
1.0000
Average boiling point
0.9892
0.9944
 0.9131
 0.9170
UOP K
No. of samples
0.9918
~See ref.16
bSee ref.9
A plot of double logarithm of viscosity versus logarithm
of molecular weight apparently suggests no relation
between the two bitumens (Figure 1). However, careful
examination provides the following information. The
double logarithm of the viscosity of oil sand bitumen is
proportional to the logarithm of the molecular weight, as
shown by the full line. The dashed line gives a similar
relation for topped crudes except Khafji and Taiching,
which have similar molecular weights but different specific
gravities. The dashed line is below and almost parallel to
the full line. The viscosity is thus correlated with
molecular weight for oil sand bitumen alone and for
some of the topped crudes alone, but not for both bitumens
at 95% significance. The plot reveals that the viscosity is
correlated with molecular weight for oils with similar
properties, and that oils with higher specific gravity are
are not intercorrelated should be considered as variables
for estimating the viscosity or in multiple regression
analysis.
Table 2 shows correlations of characteristics of oils with
their molecular weight or specific gravity. The molecular
weight is related to neither the specific gravity nor the other
three characteristics for the two bitumens, whereas the specific
gravity is correlated with those three characteristics at 99%
significance. The same is true for vacuum residues 16. On the
other hand, M, d and Tb of Arabian crude oil fractions are
closely correlated with each other9. Table 2 suggests that both
molecular weight and specific gravity should be necessary
and also sufficient for estimation of viscosity, as the other
characteristics are correlated with at least one of these two.
This study attempts to express the viscosity as a
polynomial of variables to which the two characteristics,
Fuel 1997 Volume 76 Number 11
1051
Viscosity correlation of crude oil fractions: T. Wakabayashi
Table 3 Properties of crude fractions
Specificgravity(15/4C)
Molecular weight
Cold Lake oil sand bitumen"
Whole bitumen
Viscosityat 50C (mm2s~)
0.995
582
Cut 1
0.879
209
3074
Cut 2
0.941
310
Cut 3
0.990
667
Cut 4
Cut 5
0.999
1.072
800
2500
Berri: 260/345
0.8431
230
2.95
345/455
0.8886
323
10.97
Heavy: 260/345
0.8513
232
3.04
345/455
0.9020
331
13.17
Medium: 260/345
0.8477
228
2.82
345/455
0.9006
326
12.10
Light: 260/345
0.8476
217
2.99
345/455
0.9057
332
13.16
2.77
27.4
2664
24 700
6.809 X 1010
Saudi Arabian crude fractions b
aSee ref. [10]; the temperature at which the specific gravity was measured is unknown; the viscosity is calculated from parameters
bSee ref. [9]
Table 4 Fvalues in analysis of variance for simple logarithm of viscosity of crude fraction
Single correlation
Fvalue with (d log 114)2
Fvalue with (d log M) 2 and 1/(d log M)
log M
0.9576
351.06
2977.77
1/log M
0.9152
593.41
2981.83
0.8422
891.59
2976.52
2991.56
Independent variable
1/d
0.8139
1160.49
d log M
0.9546
4367.04
ll(d log M)
0.8731
4571.33

(log M)/d
0.5977
412.08
2984.62
d/(log M)
0.5669
395.92
2977.92
(log M) 2
0.9724
347.78
2974.79
1/(log M) 2
0.8896
764.16
2988.28
d2
0.8560
777.87
2970.39
lid 2
(d log M) 2
0.7994
1296.82
2995.35
0.9826


0.8290
4394.64
0.6125
421.03
2988.39
0.0725
337.26
2928.94
ll(d log M) 2
[(log M)/d] 2
(d/log M) 2
UCalculation stopped because value of correlation matrix < 0.001
that is, log M and d, are transformed by multiplication and
division. Other more complex types of variable are omitted
from consideration, so as not to make the expression too
complex. This results in viscosity being expressed by some
of the following 16 variables: log M, 1/logM, d, 1/d,
d logM, 1/(dlogM), (log M)/d, d/logM) and their
squares. The squares are included since a quadratic
expression is generally practical in a polynomial. Simple
and double logarithms of the viscosity can reasonably be
chosen as dependent variables by reference to Equations
(3)(5).
A larger number of samples with diverse characteristics
increases confidence in the regression analysis, which has
therefore been carried out for 27 samples of petroleum oils
including Cold Lake bitumen and Arabian oils, whose
viscosity at 50C, specific gravity and molecular weight are
shown in Table 3, besides the two bitumens. Arabian oils
1052
Fuel 1997 Volume 76 Number 11
with a viscosity of > 2.0 mm2s l are at the limit of
applicability of Equation (2).
Multiple regression analysis. A popular procedure is
the stepwise method for adequate selection of variables
from the above 16 for multiple regression analysis. The
stepwise method is essentially a forward selection procedure but with the added proviso that at each stage the possibility of deleting a variable, as in backward elimination, is
considered 17(a~. The first column of Table 4 shows the
single correlation of each variable with the simple logarithm
of the viscosity. The variable (dlogM) ~ enters the
viscositycharacteristic equation as the first variable, as it
has the highest correlation with an Fvalue of 257, which
exceeds the tabulated value of 7.82 (FI,24,0.01). The second
column shows Fvalues for the logarithm of viscosity correlated with each of the 15 variables other than (d log M) z.
Viscosity correlation of crude oil fractions: 7. Wakabayashi
Table 5
Analysis of variance for simple logarithm of viscosity of crude fraction correlated with functions of d log M
(1) With (d log M)2 and 1/(dlog M), referring to Equation (6)
Adjusted multiple correlation = 0.998581
Sum of squares
Degreesof freedom
Mean square
Fvalue
109.51
0.29
109.80
2
24
26
54.75
0.01
4571.33
Partial regression
coefficient
Standarderror
Standardpartial
regression coefficient
Standarderror
Fvalue
VIF"
1.601
19.887
 15.883
0.034
1.163
0.686
1.509
0.556
0.033
0.033
2154.23
292.33
9.69
9.69
Regression
Residual
Total
Independent variable
(d log M) 2
1/(d log M)
Const,
(2) With (d log M) 2 and 1/(d log M) 2, referring to Equation (8)
Adjusted multiple correlation = 0.995984
Sum of squares
Degreesof freedom
Mean square
Fvalue
37.49
0.28
37.77
2
23
25
18.74
0.01
1547.97
Partial regression
coefficient
Standarderror
Standardpartial
regression coefficient
Standarderror
Fvalue
VIF~
1.372
16.119
 9.061
0.084
2.644
0.970
1.567
0.587
0.096
0.096
265.02
37.17
28.89
28.89
Regression
Residual
Total
Independent variable
(d log M)2
1/(d log M)2
Const.
"Variance inflation factor
Table 6
Analysis of variance for double logarithm of viscosity of crude fraction correlated with l/(d log M)
Adjusted multiple correlation = 0.997299
Regression
Residual
Total
Independent variable
l/(d log M)
Const.
Sum of squares
Degreesof freedom
Mean square
Fvalue
2.94
0.02
2.96
1
25
26
2.94
0.00
4795.54
Partial regression
coefficient
Standarderror
Standardpartial
regression coefficient
Standarderror
Fvalue
VIF
 5.849
2.658
0.084
0.035
 0.997
0.014
4795.54
1.00
The combination of (d log M) 2 and 1/(d log M) is clearly the
most suitable for determination of viscosity. No Fvalue in
the third column exceeds the greatest Fvalue in the second
column, and therefore the above combination is the best for
correlating viscosity with the characteristics. Section (1) of
Table 5 shows the analysis of variance for the correlation.
The correlation can be recognized to be effective at 99%
significance, since the Fvalue of each variable exceeds 7.82
and since the variance inflation factor (VIF) of < 10 indi
17(b)
cates that there is no multicolhnearlty
. The viscosity is
expressed as follows:
log v = 1.60(d log M) 2 + 19.89/(d log M)  15.88
(6)
However, it cannot be concluded that Equation (6) is the
only form of expression for the viscosity. The Fvalue for
the combination of the two variables in Equation (6) is
indeed the greatest, but it is also very close to that for the
combination of (d log M) 2 and (d log M) or of (d log M) 2
and l/(d log M) 2 (Table 4). Addition or deletion of a few
samples may make it possible for the Fvalues for the two
latter combinations to exceed that for the combination in
Equation (6). The form of Equation (6) can easily be changed to express several functions of (d log M) including its
square and reciprocal.
The same analysis was carried out for the double
logarithm of the viscosity, and Table 6 shows the analysis
of variance for the correlation. The form of the best
correlation for the double logarithm is different from that for
the simple logarithm, and is expressed as:
log[log(v + 0.7)] =  5.85/(d log M) + 2.66
(7)
As the Fvalue for 1/(d log M) is very far from any other F value, the form of Equation (7) could not be changed much.
There is hardly any difference between the two correlations which are expressed as Equations (6) and (7), as both
have large Fvalues, very good adjusted multiple correlation
and a VIF of < 10. The deviations of the calculated from
the experimental viscosities may indicate the comparative
merits of the two correlations. Prediction from the simple
logarithm gives a lower average absolute deviation of
16.0%, compared with 23.9% for the double logarithm.
Therefore Equation (6) is superior. The average absolute
Fuel 1997 Volume 76 Number 11
1053
Viscosity correlation of crude oil fractions: T. Wakabayashi
Table 7 Comparison of errors derived from viscositycharacteristic correlations
Local equation
Equation (8)
E~or(%)
E~or(%)
870
1.46
949
10.77
3033
33.00
3416
49.82
Cold LakeI
481
 3.59
507
Cold Lake2
1101
4.94
1213
Orinoco Merry
2475
 26.55
2776
Orinoco Morichal
4646
 44.27
5225
 37.32
Equation (9)
Oil sand bitumens
Athabasca (GCOS)
Athabasca (ARC)
1.78
15.68
17.61
Topped crudes
Arabian Light
189.2
18.09
182.8
14.11
Kuwait
517.5
27.91
549.6
35.84
10.84
1661
23.56
Khafji
1490
Gach Saran
357.8
1.16
368.5
Agha Jari
225.5
0.03
222.7
Taching
122.1
 12.46
111.6
Shengli
 19.99
499.1
 40.57
529.1
 37.00
Average absolute deviation
17.5
1.29
20.7
Cold Lake oil sand bitumen
Whole bitumen
4.18

Equation (10)
2819
 8.30
3591
Cut 1
3.3
19.16
2.9
Cut 2
25.8
 5.95
24.2
16.83
3.73

11.56
Cut 3
5296
98.75
3020
13.34
Cut 4
24672
 0.12
20 39 I
 17.45
Average absolute deviation
26.5
12.6
Saudi Arabian crude fractions
Equation (11)
Berri: 260/345
2.8
 5.95
2.9
1.83
345/455
10.0
 9.05
10.2
7.14
Heavy: 260/345
3.0
 1.50
3.2
345/455
14.0
6.11
13.0
Medium: 260/345
2.8
0.80
3.0
6.63
345/455
6.62

1.34
13.0
7.06
12.3
1.82
Light: 260/345
2.7
 10.25
2.7
 8.34
345/455
15.2
15.58
13.8
Average absolute deviation
7.0
Total average absolute deviation
15.9
deviation of 16.0% is not negligible and is certainly greater
than the overall deviation of 9.1% for Arabian crude
fractions in a generalized viscositytemperature correlation
in which the parameters were related to representative
properties of the fractions 9. However, the overall deviation
increased with the boiling point of the crude fraction, and
exceeded 20% for some Arabian crudes9. Taking into
account the diverse characteristics of fractions, Equation (6)
with a deviation of 16% is worthy of practical application.
The viscosity of cut 5 of Cold Lake bitumen is vastly
greater than that of the other samples and therefore may
have a large influence on determining the parameters of
Equation (6). Regression analysis for 26 samples excluding
cut 5 gave the equation:
log v = 1.37(d log M) 2 + 16.12/(d log M) 2  9.06
(8)
The form of Equation (8) is different from that of Equation
(6), and the viscosity is better expressed as Equation (6)
with a greater Fvalue and a lower VIF (Table 5). Prediction
1054
Fuel 1997 Volume 76 Number 11
4.84
4.8
from Equation (8) however has an average deviation of
15.9%, the same as that for Equation (6), as shown in
Table 7. It seems reasonable to conclude that cut 5 has no
effect on prediction of viscosity in this regression analysis.
However, from the chemical viewpoint it is a different
matter whether the viscosity of cut 5, containing
 5 0 wt% asphaltenes, can be suitably predicted from an
equation derived for petroleum oils. Asphaltene has been
shown to have a strong effect on viscosity through molecular aggregation ~s. Such aggregation is not found in light
petroleum fractions and is not of considerable importance
in bitumen. The viscosity of asphaltenes cannot be compared with that of light petroleum fractions or of bitumen
in the same viscosity  characteristics correlation. Cut 5
should be excluded from determining parameters of a correlation equation from the viewpoint of chemical characteristics, as mentioned above, and therefore the viscosity is to
be expressed by Equation (8). No other sample contains
> 8 wt% asphaltenes. A related comment is given in the
Viscosity correlation of crude oil fractions: T. Wakabayashi

:3
2.0
2.5
3.0
d log M
Figure 3 Correlation of logarithm of viscosity with product of
specific gravity and logarithm of molecular weight for crude
fractions: O, oil sand bitumens; , topped crudes; &, Cold Lake
bitumen; 4, Saudi Arabian crude
next section. The standard partial regression coefficient
indicates that the contribution of (d log M) 2 is greater than
that of 1/(d log M) 2 (Table 5).
The viscosity is well expressed by Equation (8) for a
variety of crude fractions (Figure 3). Is Equation (8) also
suitable for predicting the viscosity of oils belonging to a
specific group? The fractions for which multiple regression
analysis was carried out in this study can be divided into the
following three groups:
(1) Oil sand bitumens and topped crudes with boiling point
> 340C and molecular weight range  4 5 0  6 0 0 . This
group is effective for testing whether Equation (8) is
applicable to heavy oils or not.
(2) Cold Lake oil sand bitumen and its fractions with a
molecular weight range of 2092500. This group is
effective for testing whether Equation (8) is applicable
over a wide molecular weight range or not.
(3) Fractions of the Middle Eastern crude oils with boiling
point > 174C and molecular weight range of 300400, which are lighter than the oils of group (1).
Multiple regression analysis gave Equations (9)(11) to
express the best correlations for the first, second and third
groups respectively:
log v = 1.10(d log M) 2  4.82
(9)
log v = 3.32(d log M) 2 + 118.66/(log M)  64.49
(10)
log v = 0.54(d log M) 2  1.69
(11)
The form of each of these equations is different from that of
Equation (8), which apparently seems difficult to apply to
oils of a specific group. The average deviations for the first,
second and third groups are 20.7, 12.6 and 4.8% respectively in prediction from the above three equations, and
17.5, 26.5 and 7.0% in prediction from Equation (8)
(Table 7). It seems incomprehensible that the deviation
using Equation (9) for the first group is greater than that
using Equation (8). Multiple regression analysis with a
small number of samples is sometimes selfdefeating. A
larger number of samples in the first group would yield a
more suitable relation in the same form as Equation (8). A
large deviation in prediction for the second group using
Equation (8) can be observed. This is based on the extraordinary error of 98.8% for cut 3, and exclusion of this cut
reduces the deviation to 8.4%. Table 7 suggests that the
viscosity of oils belonging to a specific group can be
expressed by both the local equation for each group and
Equation (8) for all crude fractions, and that the calculated
values are almost the same. It is reasonable to conclude that
Equation (8) is applicable for predicting the viscosity of a
variety of crude fractions and also that of oils belonging to
any specific group. The variable (d log M) 2 is a key contributor in Equation (10) as well as in Equation (8), and is the
most important factor in any of the equations for predicting
viscosity.
The variable d log M may be selected preferentially in the
first step of the stepwise method in this study, as the
viscosity is correlated with both d and log M. Therefore
there may be a risk of missing a function of d and/or log M.
Multiple regression analysis with d log M excluded in the
first step was also carried out. However, the correlation
equation thus derived was not superior to Equation (8) etc.
Correlations at other temperatures
The viscosity of crude fractions at 50C has been found in
the preceding section to be correlated with their specific
gravity and molecular weight. Is a similar expression
possible at other temperatures? Multiple regression analysis
was used to derive Equations (12)(14) as the best
correlations respectively for vacuum residues whose
viscosities at 140 and 160C have been reported9J6 and
for petroleum fractions from various sources at 37.8C19:
log v = 0.38(d log M) 2  1.28
(12)
log v = 0.34(d log M) 2  1.18
(13)
log v = 0.83(d log M) 2  8.80(d/log M) 2  1.61
(14)
The independent variable selected in the correlations for
vacuum residues is the same as that in Equations (9) and
(11). The viscosity can be correlated with (dlogM) 2 at
higher temperatures such as 140 or 160C as well as at
50C. The correlation coefficients for vacuum residues however are lower than that for crude fractions at 50C, and the
average deviations are 42% at 140C and 36% at 160C.
Such large deviations arise not from certain specific residues
but equally from all. The deviation in predicting viscosity
from the viscositycharacteristics correlation increases with
the boiling point of the fraction, as mentioned previously.
Errors would arise in calculating the viscosities of heavier
fractions from their characteristics.
The reactivity and properties of petroleum oil fractions
are sometimes correlated with characteristics such as
specific gravity, average boiling point and asphaltene
content. These relationships would generally apply only to
oil fractions whose properties are connate to a certain extent
or vary continuously with the characteristic index. A lighter
crude fraction contains a large quantity of components of
lower boiling point which are homologous. The viscosity of
such a lighter fraction would be chiefly determined by the
components and would therefore be correlated with some
representative properties of the fraction. A fraction such as
vacuum residue has few such homologous components, and
therefore the viscosity depends mainly on the fluidity of the
residue itself. In this case, the viscosity cannot be well
correlated solely with certain representative properties.
Fuel 1997 Volume 76 Number 11
1055
Viscosity correlation of crude oil fractions: T. Wakabayashi
The vacuum residues have molecular weights exceeding
~900 and a specific gravity exceeding  1 . 0 L6. Therefore
the viscositycharacteristic correlation would be unsuitable
for application to a fraction with a molecular weight of
> 900. Equation (8), which is derived from regression
analysis for 26 samples excluding cut 5, seems reasonable as
a generalized viscositycharacteristic correlation at 50C in
this study.
The regression analysis for petroleum fractions at 37.8C
selected the variable (d/log M) 2, which was never selected
in the analyses at 50, 140 and 160C. However, the variable
(d log M) 2 is a key contributor to determination of viscosity
for these fractions as well as for all other crude fractions.
The average deviation of 21% is comparatively large. This
could be due to the small number of samples, considering
the diversity of sources.
A more general expression applicable at any temperature
should follow from accumulation of a larger quantity of
systematic experimental data.
REFERENCES
1
2
3
4
5
CONCLUSIONS
Multiple regression analysis with 16 independent variables
to which the two characteristics d (specific gravity) and
log M (molecular weight) are transformed by multiplication,
division and/or squaring, and with the two dependent
variables log v and log[log(v + 0.7)], gave the following
viscosity correlation for 26 samples of crude fractions at
50C:
log v = 1.37(d log M) 2 + 16.12/(d log M) 2  9.06
The viscosity calculated from this equation has an average
absolute deviation of 15.9%, and therefore this equation is
useful for estimating the transport properties of crude oil.
However, it should be noted that the form of correlation
equation varies with the number of samples, the characteristics of the crude oil, temperature etc. The viscosit~
fundamentally is affected most by the variable (d log M) ~,
and also by other variables such as log M and (d/log M),
according to circumstances.
Comparison between the average deviations calculated
from the above equation and from local correlation
equations for connate crude fractions has shown that the
above equation is applicable not only to a variety of such
fractions but also to fractions belonging to a specific group.
1056
Fuel 1997 Volume 76 Number 11
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
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