Abdulrehman Ajina

Postgraduate Research Student

Email: pmaaj@leeds.ac.uk

Abdulrehman S. Ajina
School of Chemical and Process Engineering
4.15 Chemistry
The University of Leeds
Leeds, UK

Web Pages



  • BSc (Hons) in Applied Chemistry (2011), Aston University, Birmingham, UK
  • Integrated MSc/PhD in Complex Particulate Products & Processes (Current), University of Leeds, Leeds, UK


  • Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) ‘CDPNE’ sponsorship program (2006 – 2011) – Undergraduate
  • Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) Advanced Degree Program (2014 – Current) – Postgraduate


  • Lab Scientist at Saudi Aramco Research & Development Center (2011 – 2013)
  • Operation Engineer at Saudi Aramco Jeddah Refinery (2013 – 2014).


  • At Saudi Aramco R&D:
    1. Short-term projects: Technical requests from Saudi Aramco facilities (e.g. Refineries, terminals, bulk plants, gas-oil separation plants, etc.) to characterise off-spec products using various analytical techniques (Results turnaround ~ 2 – 4 weeks)
    2. Long-term projects: Experimental evaluation studies of future plans associated with processing crude oil/products (Results turnaround ~ 1 – 3 months)
    3. Research studies: Long-term research in future strategic projects in order to assess implementation feasibility (Results turnaround ~ 6 – 24 months)
  • At Saudi Aramco Jeddah Refinery:
    1. Crude Distillation Units (Atmospheric & Vacuum): Contact engineer typical responsibilities include unit’s operating parameters, products quality, materials and mass balance, and follow up on day-to-day Operation activities
    2. Naphtha Hydrotreating Unit: NHT unit performance is important and critical as the unit is linked to other treatment units. In addition to the typical responsibilities, operation engineer of this unit is expected to maintain communication with related units, adjust operating parameters/production accordingly, and stay on top of maintenance schedule.

Research Project Summary

  • Title:
    Fundamental studies of the effect of nitrogen detergents on gum formation from fuels.
  • Synopsis:
    Materials deposition on engine internal parts (e.g. Combustion Chamber (CC), Intake Valves (IV), and Port Fuel Injectors (PFI)) has the potential to severely harm the combustion cycle leading to further complications. Accumulation of deposits can drastically increase engine temperature causing uncontrolled ignition, knocking, and higher CO exhaust emissions. Solution to this problem has been addressed through Deposit Control Additives (DCA). Chemical structure of the active ingredient within a DCA is typically consisted of a polar head (e.g. –NH2) and a long, paraffinic chain tail. Detergency effect is mainly contributed to the existence of the polar group attached to the structure.Fuel additives: Fundamental Studies of the Effect of Nitrogen Detergents on Gum Formation from Fuels.
    In this study, fundamentals of colloidal science will be applied in order to investigate the surface interaction between nitrogen-based additives and steel surfaces in gasoline fuel systems as well as to characterise the interactions between gum formed from fuels and the nitrogen as a function of temperature, concentration, and presence of other components.
  • Aim:
    To better understand the attachment mechanism of gasoline detergents onto steel surfaces (Solid-Liquid interactions).
  • Objectives:
  1. To determine whether/how nitrogen-based detergents influence deposits and gum formation in gasoline.
  2. To quantify detergent-gum, detergent-steel, gum-steel and gum-detergent-steel interactions.
  • Potential applications and benefits:
  1. Understanding surface interactions enables better engineering for the product formulation and hence performance
  2. Training of an early career researcher in the development of a complex particulate industrial product
  3. High-impact outputs in the form of publications and presentations at international conferences
  • Possible Collaborators:
    DIAMOND Light Source, Infineum, School of Mechanical Engineering (Leeds), Energy Research Institute (Leeds), and Saudi Aramco Clean Combustion Research Center (KAUST).
  • Last updated: 19 Nov 2015