Stabilization of interfacially-active-nanohybrids/polymer suspensions and transport through porous media

Jorge L. Baez*, M. Pilar Ruiz, Jimmy Faria, Jeffrey H. Harwell, Ben Shiau, Daniel E. Resasco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Novel amphiphobic nanoparticles based on functionalized carbon nanotubes (CNT) have shown promising applications for enhanced oil recovery, by lowering the water/oil interfacial tension upon adsorption or chemical reaction catalyzed by these nanoparticles. Challenges for this novel approach include a) stabilizing aqueous suspensions of the nanoparticles in the presence of brine, b) propagating these suspensions through a porous media, c) conducting reactions at the interface. It is well-known that it is difficult to suspend CNT in liquids since they are amphiphobic. Thus, surfactants or polymers are needed to create stable suspensions. Here, several polymers have been tested to disperse CNT in water. Even though some of them produced very stable nanohybrid suspensions in deionized water, when brine was present in the medium, in most cases the suspension destabilized and the nanohybrids settled out. We were successful in stabilizing nanohybrids suspensions in brine, by using polyvynil-pyrrolidone (PVP). However, in propagation experiments of these suspensions through a porous media (crushed Berea sandstone, 75-250 μm particle size, k = 4.2 D, Φ = 35%), it was observed that the PVP strongly interacted with the sand in the presence of elevated brine (10% solution), leading to low particle recoveries (< 10 %). Conversely, with PVP in deionized water, the particle recovery was higher than 90 %. After trying to get a good particle recovery of brine nanohybrid suspensions, we discovered an effective binary polymer combination that produced very stable nanohybrid suspensions that propagated through the Berea sand, with a particle recovery of 80 %. This polymer combination consisted of a sequential addition of PVP and a proprietary high salinity-resistant polymer, which reduces the rock/polymer interaction. We envision these engineered nanoparticles having a great impact in the characterization of the reservoir and enhancement of oil recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - 18th SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium 2012
Pages766-776
Number of pages11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event18th SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium 2012 - Tulsa, United States
Duration: 14 Apr 201218 Apr 2012
Conference number: 18

Conference

Conference18th SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium 2012
CountryUnited States
CityTulsa
Period14/04/1218/04/12

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