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Nanoparticle Assisted EOR during Sand-Pack Flooding: Electrical Tomography to Assess Flow Dynamics and Oil Recovery

School of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
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This paper is an extended version of our paper “Tomography to Visualize Nanoparticle- Assisted Multiphase Flow in Porous Media” published in Proceedings of the 9th World Congress on Industrial Process Tomography. Bath, UK, 2–6 September 2018.
Sensors 2019, 19(14), 3036; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19143036
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 1 July 2019 / Accepted: 5 July 2019 / Published: 10 July 2019
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Abstract

Silica nanoparticles have been shown to exhibit many characteristics that allow for additional oil to be recovered during sand-pack flooding experiments. Additionally various imaging techniques have been employed in the past to visually compare flooding procedures including x-ray computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging; however, these techniques require the sample to be destroyed or sliced after the flooding experiment finishes. Electrical resistance tomography (ERT) overcomes these limitations by offering a non-destructive visualization method allowing for online images to be taken during the flooding process by the determination of spatial distribution of electrical resistivity, thus making it suitable for sand-packs. During the scope of this research a new sand-pack system and methodology was created which utilized ERT as a monitoring tool. Two concentrations, 0.5 wt% and 1.0 wt%, of SiO2 nanoparticles were compared with runs using only brine to compare the recovery efficiency and explore the ability of ERT to monitor the flooding process. Electrical resistance tomography was found to be an effective tool in monitoring local recovery efficiency revealing 1.0 wt% SiO2 to be more effective than 0.5 wt% and brine only runs during the scope of this research. A new method involving the slope function in excel was used to compare the effects of nanofluids on resistivity trends also revealing information about the rate of recovery against time. SiO2 nanofluid recovery mechanisms such interfacial tension reduction and viscosity enhancement were then considered to explain why the nanofluids resulted in greater oil recovery. View Full-Text
Keywords: imaging techniques; multiphase flow; nanoparticles; enhanced oil recovery; tomography; sand-pack flooding imaging techniques; multiphase flow; nanoparticles; enhanced oil recovery; tomography; sand-pack flooding
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Nwufoh, P.; Hu, Z.; Wen, D.; Wang, M. Nanoparticle Assisted EOR during Sand-Pack Flooding: Electrical Tomography to Assess Flow Dynamics and Oil Recovery. Sensors 2019, 19, 3036.

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