Interfacially-active nanohybrids for improved oil recovery

Daniel E. Resasco*, Jeffrey Harwell, Santiago Drexler, Jimmy A. Faria, M. Pilar Ruiz, J. Baez, Bor Jier Shiau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademicpeer-review


The application of nanoparticles for chemical EOR has attracted significant attention in the recent years. A novel technique, which consists in injecting amphiphilic nanoparticles into the water, for potential enhancement of oil is presented. These hybrid nanoparticles can simultaneously act as emulsion stabilizers as well as carriers for catalytic species, e.g., metal that can be active for partial oxidation and hydrogenation reactions. The application of nanohybrid particles that preferentially locate the water/oil interface and catalyze oxidation and hydrogenation was studied, and considered how these reactions could impact EOR operations. The applications of the concept was investigated by incorporating active species on the surface of nanohybrids, which catalyze reactions at the oil-water interface. The oxidation of aromatic compounds and hydrocarbons at the interface reduced the oil- water IFT since the species with higher dipole moment (oxygenates) dominated the interface. The complete hydrogenation of the polyaromatic molecules increased the viscosity of the resulting products. The selective hydrogenation could be an appropriate strategy to increase the viscosity of the sweeping fluid (emulsion), improving the oil mobility. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the 2012 AIChE Spring Meeting and 8th Global Congress on Process Safety (Houston, TX 4/1-5/2012).

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event2012 AIChE Spring Meeting and 8th Global Congress on Process Safety, 12AIChE - Houston, United States
Duration: 1 Apr 20125 Apr 2012


Conference2012 AIChE Spring Meeting and 8th Global Congress on Process Safety, 12AIChE
CountryUnited States

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