Effect of Nanoparticles on Viscosity and Interfacial Tension of Aqueous Surfactant Solutions at High Salinity and High Temperature

Anastasia A. Ivanova, Chi Phan, Ahmed Barifcani, Stefan Iglauer, Alexey N. Cheremisin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Surfactant flooding has widely been used as one of the chemically enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques. Surfactants majorly influence the interfacial tension, γ, between oil and brine phase and control capillary number and relative permeability behavior and, thus, influence ultimate recovery. Additives, such as nanoparticles, are known to affect surfactant properties and are regarded as promising EOR agents. However, their detailed interactions with surfactants are not well understood. Thus, in this work, we examined the influence of silica nanoparticles on the ability of surfactants to lower γ and to increase viscosity at various temperatures and salinities. Results show that the presence of nanoparticles decreased γ between n-decane and various surfactant formulations by up to 20%. It was found that γ of nanoparticles–surfactant solutions passed through a minimum at 35 °C when salt was added. Furthermore, the viscosity of cationic surfactant solutions increased at specific salt (1.5 wt.%) and nanoparticle (0.05 wt.%) concentrations. Results illustrate that selected nanoparticles–surfactant formulations appear very promising for EOR as they can lower brine/n-decane interfacial tension and act as viscosity modifiers of the injected fluids.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)327-338
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Surfactants and Detergents
    Volume23
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

    Keywords

    • Enhanced oil recovery
    • Interfacial tension
    • Silica nanoparticles
    • Surfactants
    • Viscosity

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