Influence of Ssurfactants on Physico-chemical Properties of Nanofluids for Enhanced Oil Recovery

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Brendan Michael Luther and Christophe J G Darnault, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, United States
Surfactant water flooding has been used in petroleum engineering as a technology for enhancing the recovery of petroleum from geological systems following the primary and secondary phases of oil recovery. Enhanced oil recovery or tertiary phase may produce about 25% of additional oil. It is essential to exploit petroleum reservoirs efficiently as oil resources are being continuously depleted and becoming scarce. Recent advances in petroleum engineering involve the application of nanoparticles for enhanced oil recovery. Therefore our experimental research investigates the couple use of surfactants and nanoparticles for enhanced oil recovery. We studied the influence of nonionic and anionic surfactants on the physico-chemical properties of nano-silica particles that are critical for enhanced oil recovery processes. These physico-chemical properties include the interfacial tension between crude oil and nanofluids with and without the addition of surfactants, the contact angle of these (surfactant) nanofluids on mineral thin sections, the size of nanoaggregates in these (surfactant) nanofluids, as well as their surfaces charges. As surfactants impact the physico-chemical properties of nanofluids, multiphase flow will also be impacted.