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Open AccessArticle

Unlock the Potentials to Further Improve CO2 Storage and Utilization with Supercritical CO2 Emulsions When Applying CO2-Philic Surfactants

1
Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
2
Bureau of Economic Geology, The Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
3
School of Petroleum Engineering, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266555, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustain. Chem. 2021, 2(1), 127-148; https://doi.org/10.3390/suschem2010009
Received: 24 December 2020 / Revised: 17 February 2021 / Accepted: 25 February 2021 / Published: 2 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Final Sinks of Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS))
Supercritical CO2 (ScCO2) emulsion has attracted lots of attention, which could benefit both climate control via CO2 storage and industry revenue through significantly increased oil recovery simultaneously. Historically, aqueous soluble surfactants have been widely used as stabilizers, though they suffer from slow propagation, relatively high surfactant adsorption and well injectivity issues. In contrast, the CO2-soluble surfactants could improve the emulsion performance remarkably, due to their CO2-philicity. Here, comprehensive comparison studies are carried out from laboratory experiments to field scale simulations between a commercially available aqueous soluble surfactant (CD 1045) and a proprietary nonionic CO2-philic surfactant whose solubility in ScCO2 and partition coefficient between ScCO2/Brine have been determined. Surfactant affinity to employed oil is indicated by a phase behavior test. Static adsorptions on Silurian dolomite outcrop are conducted to gain the insights of its electro-kinetic properties. Coreflooding experiments are carried out with both consolidated 1 ft Berea sandstone and Silurian dolomite to compare the performances as a result of surfactant natures under two-phase conditions, while harsher conditions are examined on fractured carbonate with presence of an oleic phase. Moreover, the superiorities of ScCO2 foam with CO2-philic surfactant due to dual phase partition capacity are illustrated with field scale simulations. ScCO2 and WAG injections behaviors are used as baselines, while the performances of two types of CO2 emulsions are compared with SAG injection, characterized by phase saturations, CO2 storage, oil production, CO2 utilization ratio and pressure distribution. A novel injection strategy, named CO2 continuous injection with dissolved surfactant (CIDS), which is unique for a CO2-philic surfactant, is also studied. It is found that the CO2-soluble surfactant displays much lower oil affinity and adsorption on carbonate than CD 1045. Furthermore, in a laboratory scale, a much higher foam propagation rate is observed with the novel surfactant, which is mainly ascribed to its CO2 affinity, assisted by the high mobility of the CO2 phase. Field scale simulations clearly demonstrate the potentials of CO2 emulsion on CO2 storage and oil recovery over conventional tertiary productions. Relative to traditional aqueous soluble surfactant emulsion, the novel surfactant emulsion contributes to higher injectivity, CO2 storage capability, oil recovery and energy utilization efficiency. The CIDS could further reduce water injection cost and energy consumption. The findings here reveal the potentials of further improving CO2 storage and utilization when applying ScCO2-philic surfactant emulsion, to compromise both environmental and economic concerns. View Full-Text
Keywords: CO2-philic surfactant; supercritical CO2 emulsion; CO2 storage and utilization; enhanced oil recovery; experimental validations and numerical predictions CO2-philic surfactant; supercritical CO2 emulsion; CO2 storage and utilization; enhanced oil recovery; experimental validations and numerical predictions
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ren, G.; Ren, B.; Li, S.; Zhang, C. Unlock the Potentials to Further Improve CO2 Storage and Utilization with Supercritical CO2 Emulsions When Applying CO2-Philic Surfactants. Sustain. Chem. 2021, 2, 127-148. https://doi.org/10.3390/suschem2010009

AMA Style

Ren G, Ren B, Li S, Zhang C. Unlock the Potentials to Further Improve CO2 Storage and Utilization with Supercritical CO2 Emulsions When Applying CO2-Philic Surfactants. Sustainable Chemistry. 2021; 2(1):127-148. https://doi.org/10.3390/suschem2010009

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ren, Guangwei; Ren, Bo; Li, Songyan; Zhang, Chao. 2021. "Unlock the Potentials to Further Improve CO2 Storage and Utilization with Supercritical CO2 Emulsions When Applying CO2-Philic Surfactants" Sustain. Chem. 2, no. 1: 127-148. https://doi.org/10.3390/suschem2010009

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