Tremendous strides have been made recently in asphaltene science. Many advanced analytical techniques have been applied recently to asphaltenes elucidating many asphaltene properties. The inability of certain techniques to provide correct asphaltene parameters has also been clarified. Longstanding controversies have been resolved. For example, molecular structural issues of asphaltenes have been resolved, in particular, asphaltene molecular weight is now known. The primary aggregation threshold has recently been established by a variety of techniques. Characterization of asphaltene interfacial activity has advanced considerably. The hierarchy of asphaltene aggregation has emerged into a fairly comprehensive picture - essentially in accord with the Yen model with the additional inclusion of certain constraints. Crude oil and asphaltene science is now poised to develop proper structure-function relations that are the defining objective of the new field - Petroleomics. The purpose of this paper is to review of these developments in order to present a more clear and accessible picture of asphaltenes - especially considering that the asphaltene literature is a bit opaque.

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