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Article

Experimental Investigation of Stability of Silica Nanoparticles at Reservoir Conditions for Enhanced Oil-Recovery Applications

1
Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore 627833, Singapore
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117576, Singapore
3
PoreLab, Norwegian Center of Excellence, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), 7031 Trondheim, Norway
4
Department of Geoscience and Petroleum, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), 7031 Trondheim, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(8), 1522; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081522
Received: 15 July 2020 / Revised: 29 July 2020 / Accepted: 29 July 2020 / Published: 4 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Nanoparticles for Oil Recovery)
To be effective enhanced oil-recovery (EOR) agents, nanoparticles must be stable and be transported through a reservoir. However, the stability of a nanoparticle suspension at reservoir salinity and temperature is still a challenge and how it is affected by reservoir rocks and crude oils is not well understood. In this work, for the first time, the effect of several nanoparticle treatment approaches on the stability of silica nanoparticles at reservoir conditions (in the presence of reservoir rock and crude oil) was investigated for EOR applications. The stability of nanoparticle suspensions was screened in test tubes at 70 °C and 3.8 wt. % NaCl in the presence of reservoir rock and crude oil. Fumed silica nanoparticles in suspension with hydrochloric acid (HCl), polymer-modified fumed nanoparticles and amide-functionalized silica colloidal nanoparticles were studied. The size and pH of nanoparticle suspension in contact with rock samples were measured to determine the mechanism for stabilization or destabilization of nanoparticles. A turbidity scanner was used to quantify the stability of the nanoparticle suspension. Results showed that both HCl and polymer surface modification can improve nanoparticle stability under synthetic seawater salinity and 70 °C. Suspensions of polymer-modified nanoparticles were stable for months. It was found that pH is a key parameter influencing nanoparticle stability. Rock samples containing carbonate minerals destabilized unmodified nanoparticles. Crude oil had limited effect on nanoparticle stability. Some components of crude oil migrated into the aqueous phase consisting of amide-functionalized silica colloidal nanoparticles suspension. Nanoparticles modification or/and stabilizer are necessary for nanoparticle EOR application. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanoparticle stability; reservoir condition; reservoir rock; crude oil; nanoparticle agglomeration nanoparticle stability; reservoir condition; reservoir rock; crude oil; nanoparticle agglomeration
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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, S.; Ng, Y.H.; Lau, H.C.; Torsæter, O.; Stubbs, L.P. Experimental Investigation of Stability of Silica Nanoparticles at Reservoir Conditions for Enhanced Oil-Recovery Applications. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 1522. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081522

AMA Style

Li S, Ng YH, Lau HC, Torsæter O, Stubbs LP. Experimental Investigation of Stability of Silica Nanoparticles at Reservoir Conditions for Enhanced Oil-Recovery Applications. Nanomaterials. 2020; 10(8):1522. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081522

Chicago/Turabian Style

Li, Shidong, Yeap H. Ng, Hon C. Lau, Ole Torsæter, and Ludger P. Stubbs 2020. "Experimental Investigation of Stability of Silica Nanoparticles at Reservoir Conditions for Enhanced Oil-Recovery Applications" Nanomaterials 10, no. 8: 1522. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081522

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