Towards enhanced oil recovery: Effects of ionic valency and pH on the adsorption of hydrolyzed polyacrylamide at model surfaces using QCM-D

Amrutha Mohan, Ashit Rao, Julius Vancso*, Frieder Mugele*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Adding polymers to the injection water in water-flooding oil recovery increases the viscosity and thereby enhances recovery factor. However, the beneficial effects are often counteracted by adsorption of polymer to the ambient mineral surface. In here, we used Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation (QCM-D) measurements to study the adsorption of the frequently used hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM), a weak polyelectrolyte, to silica and alumina model surfaces representing sandstone reservoirs. At pH 6 and 8 and concentrations from 1 mM to 100 mM of NaCl and CaCl2, we find that negatively charged HPAM molecules generally adsorb more strongly to positively charged alumina surfaces. For silica surfaces, the presence of Ca2+ ions, which form strong complexes with the carboxyl groups on the polymer, as evidenced by titration measurements, strongly enhances HPAM adsorption. This effect is attributed to the formation of Ca2+-mediated ion bridges with the substrate. Kinetic measurements suggest a two-step adsorption process consisting of a primary polymer adsorption onto the surface followed – in most cases – by a slower secondary process, which involves rearrangements of previously adsorbed polymer molecules, including polymer-on-polymer adsorption.

Original languageEnglish
Article number149995
JournalApplied surface science
Volume560
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Calcium bridging
  • Enhanced oil recovery
  • Hydrolyzed polyacrylamide
  • Polyelectrolyte
  • Polymer adsorption
  • QCM-D

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