Background: The presence of relatively high naphthenic acid in crude oil may
contribute to the major corrosion in oil pipelines and distillation units in crude oil refineries.
Thus, high concentration naphthenic acid crude oil is considered to be of low quality and is
marketed at lower prices. In order to overcome this problem, the neutralization method had
been developed to reduce the TAN value in crude oil. In this study, crude oil from Petronas
Penapisan Melaka was investigated.
Methods: The parameters studied were reagent concentration, catalyst loading, calcination
temperature, and reusability of the potential catalyst. The basic chemical used was 2-
methylimidazole in polyethylene glycol (PEG 600) with concentration 100, 500 and 1000
ppm. Cerium oxide-based catalysts were supported onto alumina prepared with different calcination
Results: The catalyst was characterized by using Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), Fourier
Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Thermogravimetry Analysis-Differential
Thermal Gravity (TGA-DTG) to study the physical properties of the catalyst. The Ce/Al2O3
catalyst calcined at 1000°C was the best catalyst due to larger surface area formation which
lead to an increment of active sites thus will boost catalytic activity. The result showed that
the Ce/Al2O3 catalyst meets the Petronas requirement as the TAN value reduced to 0.6
mgKOH/g from the original TAN value of 4.22 mgKOH/g.
Conclusion: The best reduction of TAN was achieved by using catalyst loading of 0.39%
and reagent of 1000 ppm.