Nanoparticles Transport Through the Porous Media for Enhanced Oil Recovery

Wednesday, October 19, 2011: 1:45 PM
200 G (Minneapolis Convention Center)
Devesh Kumar Agrawal and Ramanan Krishnamoorti, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX

          Breakthrough in chemical injection based enhanced oil recovery technologies are limited by the need of better and superior materials which can withstand and function at harsh reservoir conditions. The application of nanoparticles is envisaged for EOR applications because of their unique transport & surface wettability properties and their relatively smaller sizes compared to the size of pores in porous rocks of an oil reservoir. Nanoparticles based viscosity and wettability modifiers are expected to produce nano-fluids with superior desired properties with the addition of small nanoparticles concentration. If the suitable functional groups are coated on the surface, these nanoparticles can perform the desired functions like viscosity improvement of the water flood or wettability change of the rock or both.  Thus, a study of the transport behavior of such nanoparticles through porous media and establishing the fact that their interactions in the porous media do not cause plugging is essential. Though, factors like the size of nanoparticle as compared to those of the pore’s and the pore throat’s impact their transport without plugging but factors like nanoparticle-nanoparticle and rock-nanoparticle interactions can play dominant roles in governing their movement through porous media. In the current work, stable dispersion of the surface modified nanoparticles (<100 nm in size) are step input through the sandstones and carbonates cores to displace brine. The pressure profiles and breakthrough curves are obtained. The effects of nanoparticle-nanoparticle and rock-nanoparticle interactions on the transport of these nanoparticles are studied. The impact on enhanced oil recovery is also calculated. The modeling of the system is performed and the transport parameters determined suggest significant dependence of such parameters on the underlying molecular interactions.

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See more of this Session: Complex Subsurface Processes II
See more of this Group/Topical: Energy and Transport Processes