Crumpling drop elastometry reveals temperature and brine-dependent elastic layers at crude oil interfaces.

  • Amy Zufall Stetten (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Abstract: Understanding the properties of interfacial layers between crude oils and salty brines is of importance to both oil production from reservoirs and the cleanup of oil spills. Analysis of these interfaces with a fluid model and a simple interfacial tension can generate misleading results. As a crude oil / brine interface ages, large amphiphilic molecules within the oil adsorb at the interface, forming an interfacial layer that is no longer fluid-like, but elastic. These elastic layers can be seen in the crumpling of crude oil pendant drops upon deflation. In recent years, a experimentally simple way to study such “elastic capsules” has been introduced [1]. Fitting deflated drop shapes to models of 2D shell theory yields quantitative measurements of Young’s modulus, Poisson’s ratio, bending modulus, and thickness of interfacial layers. This new technique allows for rapid screening of a wide parameter-space of potentially controlling variables in the elasticity. We find that elasticity depends strongly on brine composition, temperature, and aging. This analysis will allow us to make predictions about how crude oil drops interact with surfaces, how they break up during water flooding, and what role elasticity plays in oil recovery.
1.Knoche, S., Vella, D., Aumaitre, E., Degen, P., Rehage, H., Cicuta, P., & Kierfeld, J. (2013). Elastometry of deflated capsules: Elastic moduli from shape and wrinkle analysis. Langmuir, 29(40), 12463-71.
Period26 Jun 2022
Held atPhysics of Complex Fluids