Combined microfluidics–confocal Raman microscopy platform for studying enhanced oil recovery mechanisms

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Abstract

To study the mechanism of enhanced oil recovery, it is important to characterize the three-dimensional spatial distribution of various chemical species, especially water and oil, and their evolution during the course of water flooding. For example, visualizing the (selective) removal of oil from clay or silica substrates by low salinity water can yield important insights. Here, we present a platform that uses a microfluidic device (to represent water flooding at the pore scale) in combination with confocal Raman microscopy. Distributions of oil, water, and minerals are resolved at submicrometer resolution upon flooding water with changing composition. Using glass and gibbsite to mimic sandstone and clay, and water containing divalent cations (Ca 2+ ), we find that oil containing a fatty acid preferentially adsorbs on the gibbsite. Removal of the divalent cations leads to release of the oil droplet. This finding is consistent with the multiple ion exchange mechanism and underlines that the presence of clay is important for low salinity enhanced oil recovery. We expect that our platform will pave the road towards systematic screening of water flood compositions in more complex systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)996-1007
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of raman spectroscopy
Volume50
Issue number7
Early online date1 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

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Microscopic examination
Oils
Recovery
Water
Divalent Cations
Clay
Positive ions
Mineral Waters
Sandstone
Chemical analysis
Microfluidics
Silicon Dioxide
Spatial distribution
Large scale systems
Fatty acids
Ion exchange
Screening
Fatty Acids
Minerals
Silica

Keywords

  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Enhanced oil recovery
  • Low salinity
  • Microfluidics
  • Confocal Raman microscopy

Cite this

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title = "Combined microfluidics–confocal Raman microscopy platform for studying enhanced oil recovery mechanisms",
abstract = "To study the mechanism of enhanced oil recovery, it is important to characterize the three-dimensional spatial distribution of various chemical species, especially water and oil, and their evolution during the course of water flooding. For example, visualizing the (selective) removal of oil from clay or silica substrates by low salinity water can yield important insights. Here, we present a platform that uses a microfluidic device (to represent water flooding at the pore scale) in combination with confocal Raman microscopy. Distributions of oil, water, and minerals are resolved at submicrometer resolution upon flooding water with changing composition. Using glass and gibbsite to mimic sandstone and clay, and water containing divalent cations (Ca 2+ ), we find that oil containing a fatty acid preferentially adsorbs on the gibbsite. Removal of the divalent cations leads to release of the oil droplet. This finding is consistent with the multiple ion exchange mechanism and underlines that the presence of clay is important for low salinity enhanced oil recovery. We expect that our platform will pave the road towards systematic screening of water flood compositions in more complex systems.",
keywords = "UT-Hybrid-D, Enhanced oil recovery, Low salinity, Microfluidics, Confocal Raman microscopy",
author = "Jun Gao and Sachin Nair and Duits, {Michel H.G.} and Cees Otto and Frieder Mugele",
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AU - Nair, Sachin

AU - Duits, Michel H.G.

AU - Otto, Cees

AU - Mugele, Frieder

N1 - Wiley deal

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AB - To study the mechanism of enhanced oil recovery, it is important to characterize the three-dimensional spatial distribution of various chemical species, especially water and oil, and their evolution during the course of water flooding. For example, visualizing the (selective) removal of oil from clay or silica substrates by low salinity water can yield important insights. Here, we present a platform that uses a microfluidic device (to represent water flooding at the pore scale) in combination with confocal Raman microscopy. Distributions of oil, water, and minerals are resolved at submicrometer resolution upon flooding water with changing composition. Using glass and gibbsite to mimic sandstone and clay, and water containing divalent cations (Ca 2+ ), we find that oil containing a fatty acid preferentially adsorbs on the gibbsite. Removal of the divalent cations leads to release of the oil droplet. This finding is consistent with the multiple ion exchange mechanism and underlines that the presence of clay is important for low salinity enhanced oil recovery. We expect that our platform will pave the road towards systematic screening of water flood compositions in more complex systems.

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KW - Confocal Raman microscopy

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