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Open AccessArticle

Microemulsion Rheological Analysis of Alkaline, Surfactant, and Polymer in Oil-Water Interface

1
Department of Fundamental and Applied Sciences, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Seri Iskandar 32610, Malaysia
2
PETRONAS Research Sdn. Bhd, Lot 3288 & 3289, Off jalan Ayer Itam, Bangi 43000, Malaysia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2020, 8(7), 762; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8070762
Received: 10 December 2019 / Revised: 23 January 2020 / Accepted: 23 February 2020 / Published: 29 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Oils Conversion Processes)
Injection of alkaline (A), polymer (P), and surfactant (S) chemicals in enhanced oil recovery (cEOR) processes increases output by changing the properties of the injected fluid. In this work, micellar fluid interactions were studied via microemulsion rheological analysis. Crude oil and stimulated brine with ASP or SP was used for bottle testing. The results revealed that no microemulsion was produced when ASP (Alkaline, Surfactant, and Polymer) or SP (Surfactant and Polymer) was left out during the bottle testing phase. The addition of ASP and SP led to the formation of microemulsions—up to 29% for 50% water cut (WC) ASP, and 36% for 40% WC SP. This shows that the addition of ASP and SP can be applied to flooding applications. The results of the rheological analysis show that the microemulsions behaved as a shear-thinning micellar fluid by decreasing viscosity with increase in shear rate. As per the power-law equation, the ASP micellar fluid viscoelastic behavior shows better shear-thinning compared to SP, suggesting more efficiency in fluid mobility and sweep efficiency. Most of the microemulsions exhibited viscoelastic fluid behavior (G’ = G”) at angular frequency of 10 to 60 rad s−1, and stable elastic fluid behavior (G’ > G’’) below 10 rad s−1 angular frequency. The viscosity of microemulsion fluids decreases as temperature increases; this indicates that the crude oil (i.e., alkanes) was solubilized in core micelles, leading to radial growth in the cylindrical part of the wormlike micelles, and resulting in a drop in end-cap energy and micelle length. No significant difference was found in the analysis of viscoelasticity evaluation and viscosity analysis for both ASP and SP microemulsions. The microemulsion tendency test and rheology test show that the addition of ASP and SP in the oil-water interface yields excellent viscoelastic properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: chemical enhanced oil recovery (cEOR); alkali; surfactant; polymer; emulsion rheology test; emulsion tendency test chemical enhanced oil recovery (cEOR); alkali; surfactant; polymer; emulsion rheology test; emulsion tendency test
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MDPI and ACS Style

Numin, M.S.; Jumbri, K.; Ramli, A.; Borhan, N. Microemulsion Rheological Analysis of Alkaline, Surfactant, and Polymer in Oil-Water Interface. Processes 2020, 8, 762.

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