Nanoparticles in EOR

Synergy between nanoparticles and surfactants

Experimental investigation on the use of nanoparticles combined with surfactants to increase foam stabilization and formation. Nanoparticles have a high interface adsorption energy, which slows down some foam destabilization mechanisms, increasing the foam’s lifetime.

Rock-fluid interaction and nanotracers

It is necessary to know the performance, interface and transport of nanoparticles and their interaction with different conditions of the environment (pH, salinity, surfactants, pressure, temperature) to be able to assess their behavior and dependence in different scenarios. Fluorescent nanoparticles can be used as tracers in studies of adsorption and transport in porous media.

Surfactant Nanocarriers

Surfactants are used for different purposes in the oil industry. Formulations for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) using surfactants are applied incrementally or the recovery factor in oil reservoirs. However, the surfactant adsorption phenomenon on the rock surface reduces the efficiency of the surfactant injection process. This phenomenon is inevitable and depends on its severity, it can make a project economically unfeasible. Researchers have been looking for solutions capable to improve the performance of surfactant flooding methods that will make them economically attractive. In the last few years, the use of nanoparticles in EOR fluids to improve the performance of surfactants have increased. The literature describes the efficiency of nanoparticles in preventing surfactant loss or even improving the oil recovery factor. Adsorption of surfactants can be prevented for these nanofluids, since modified nanoparticles may be able to decrease the surfactant loss, acting as nanocarriers, compared to the result obtained using only surfactants.

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