Special Issue "Application of Nano-Technology for Oil Recovery"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Aly Anis Hamouda
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Energy and Petroleum Engineering, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, 4036, Norway
Interests: CO2 sequestration, EOR, and nano-fluid/ carbonated water for hydrocarbon properties alteration; utilization of supercritical CO2 for fracturing shale rocks; oil transportation; synergy between CO2 and low salinity water for EOR; polymer and silicate for reservoir profile modification; nanoparticles' interaction with porous materials; low salinity water for EOR
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Emerging nanotechnology with EOR techniques has shows demonstrated potential that has not yet been fully understood or fully explored. This is evident from the vast body of research over the past decade focusing on oil recovery aided by nanotechnology. Breakthroughs in this field have the potential to be a game changer, as nanoparticles (NPs) have the distinct advantages of small size, good mobility and a high specific surface area, which enables their effectiveness at significantly low weight concentrations. The use of NPs for oil recovery can be broadly classified into three categories: (1) nanofluids, or colloidal suspensions of NPs dispersed in a base fluid; (2) nano-emulsions, or the use of NPs to stabilize emulsion; and (3) nano-based foams, or gas foams stabilized by NPs. Taken together, these methods have the potential to develop novel, low-impact, enhanced oil recovery methods for the future.

This Special Issue seeks high quality submissions geared towards advances in the application of nanotechnology for oil recovery. The scope of the submissions covers (but is not limited to) nanofluids, nano-emulsion, nano-foams, subsurface adsorption and transport of NPs, stabilization and surface functionalization, wettability alteration, interfacial tension reduction, modelling of nano–EOR processes for heavy oil degradation, and synergies between NPs and other EOR techniques such as CO2, low salinity, etc. The Special Issue particularly seeks submissions that focus on shedding light on the underlying mechanisms that govern the added benefits of NPs in oil recovery processes.

Prof. Aly Anis Hamouda
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • nano-emulsion
  • nano-foams
  • subsurface adsorption and transport of nanoparticles
  • stabilization and surface functionalization
  • wettability alteration
  • interfacial tension reduction
  • modelling of Nano–EOR processes for heavy oil degradation
  • application of nanotechnology for EOR with techniques, such as CO2 and low salinity

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Artificial Intelligence Based Methods for Asphaltenes Adsorption by Nanocomposites: Application of Group Method of Data Handling, Least Squares Support Vector Machine, and Artificial Neural Networks
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 890; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050890 - 06 May 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Asphaltenes deposition is considered a serious production problem. The literature does not include enough comprehensive studies on adsorption phenomenon involved in asphaltenes deposition utilizing inhibitors. In addition, effective protocols on handling asphaltenes deposition are still lacking. In this study, three efficient artificial intelligent [...] Read more.
Asphaltenes deposition is considered a serious production problem. The literature does not include enough comprehensive studies on adsorption phenomenon involved in asphaltenes deposition utilizing inhibitors. In addition, effective protocols on handling asphaltenes deposition are still lacking. In this study, three efficient artificial intelligent models including group method of data handling (GMDH), least squares support vector machine (LSSVM), and artificial neural network (ANN) are proposed for estimating asphaltenes adsorption onto NiO/SAPO-5, NiO/ZSM-5, and NiO/AlPO-5 nanocomposites based on a databank of 252 points. Variables influencing asphaltenes adsorption include pH, temperature, amount of nanocomposites over asphaltenes initial concentration (D/C0), and nanocomposites characteristics such as BET surface area and volume of micropores. The models are also optimized using nine optimization techniques, namely coupled simulated annealing (CSA), genetic algorithm (GA), Bayesian regularization (BR), scaled conjugate gradient (SCG), ant colony optimization (ACO), Levenberg–Marquardt (LM), imperialistic competitive algorithm (ICA), conjugate gradient with Fletcher-Reeves updates (CGF), and particle swarm optimization (PSO). According to the statistical analysis, the proposed RBF-ACO and LSSVM-CSA are the most accurate approaches that can predict asphaltenes adsorption with average absolute percent relative errors of 0.892% and 0.94%, respectively. The sensitivity analysis shows that temperature has the most impact on asphaltenes adsorption from model oil solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Nano-Technology for Oil Recovery)
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Open AccessArticle
Upgrading of Extra-Heavy Crude Oils by Dispersed Injection of NiO–PdO/CeO2±δ Nanocatalyst-Based Nanofluids in the Steam
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(12), 1755; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9121755 - 10 Dec 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
The main objective of this study is to evaluate the injection of a dispersed nanocatalyst-based nanofluid in a steam stream for in situ upgrading and oil recovery during a steam injection process. The nanocatalyst was selected through adsorption and thermogravimetric experiments. Two nanoparticles [...] Read more.
The main objective of this study is to evaluate the injection of a dispersed nanocatalyst-based nanofluid in a steam stream for in situ upgrading and oil recovery during a steam injection process. The nanocatalyst was selected through adsorption and thermogravimetric experiments. Two nanoparticles were proposed, ceria nanoparticles (CeO2±δ), with and without functionalization with nickel, and palladium oxides (CeNi0.89Pd1.1). Each one was employed for static tests of adsorption and subsequent decomposition using a model solution composed of n-C7 asphaltenes (A) and resins II (R) separately and for different R:A ratios of 2:8, 1:1, and 8:2. Then, a displacement test consisting of three main stages was successfully developed. At the beginning, steam was injected into the porous media at a temperature of 210 °C, the pore and overburden pressure were fixed at 150 and 800 psi, respectively, and the steam quality was 70%. This was followed by CeNi0.89Pd1.1 dispersed injection in the steam stream. Finally, the treatment was allowed to soak for 12 h, and the steam flooding was carried out again until no more oil production was observed. Among the most relevant results, functionalized nanoparticles achieved higher adsorption of both fractions as well as a lower decomposition temperature. The presence of resins did not affect the amount of asphaltene adsorption over the evaluated materials. The catalytic activity suggests that the increase in resin content promotes a higher conversion in a shorter period of time. Also, for the different steps of the dynamic test, increases of 25% and 42% in oil recovery were obtained for the dispersed injection of the nanofluid in the steam stream and after a soaking time of 12 h, compared with the base curve with only steam injection, respectively. The upgraded crude oil reached an API gravity level of 15.9°, i.e., an increase in 9.0° units in comparison with the untreated extra-heavy crude oil, which represents an increase of 130%. Also, reductions of up to 71% and 85% in the asphaltene content and viscosity were observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Nano-Technology for Oil Recovery)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Individual Ions on Silica Nanoparticles Interaction with Berea Sandstone Minerals
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(9), 1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9091267 - 05 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Nanofluids are prepared by dispersing silica nanoparticles in aqueous media (brines). The purpose of this work is to address brine/rock interactions in presence of nanoparticles. Our previous studies have shown that silica nanofluids are effective in reducing formation damage in sandstone reservoirs. This [...] Read more.
Nanofluids are prepared by dispersing silica nanoparticles in aqueous media (brines). The purpose of this work is to address brine/rock interactions in presence of nanoparticles. Our previous studies have shown that silica nanofluids are effective in reducing formation damage in sandstone reservoirs. This study addresses effect of individual ions on dispersed silica nanoparticles’ interaction with Berea Sandstone minerals. The selected ions are Mg2+, SO42− and Na+, in MgCl2, Na2SO4 and NaCl, which are the major constituents of seawater. Three flooding stages for Berea Sandstone cores were followed. The first flooding stage was without nanoparticles, the second one was a slug of the nanoparticles with tracer and the third stage was a post-flushing of the core with the respective ion. The effluent tracer concentration, nanoparticle content, ion concentrations and pH reflect the effect of individual ions on nanoparticle/mineral interaction which were used for suggesting possible interaction mechanisms. Presence of Mg2+ and SO42− ions improved the adsorption of nanoparticles on minerals, however the effect of Na+ was lesser. In general, in all the cases nanoparticles reduced the mineral dissolution and associated fine migration/possible formation damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Nano-Technology for Oil Recovery)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Investigation of Polymer-Coated Silica Nanoparticles for Enhanced Oil Recovery
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(6), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9060822 - 31 May 2019
Cited by 12
Abstract
Recently, polymer-coated nanoparticles were proposed for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) due to their improved properties such as solubility, stability, stabilization of emulsions and low particle retention on the rock surface. This work investigated the potential of various polymer-coated silica nanoparticles (PSiNPs) as additives [...] Read more.
Recently, polymer-coated nanoparticles were proposed for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) due to their improved properties such as solubility, stability, stabilization of emulsions and low particle retention on the rock surface. This work investigated the potential of various polymer-coated silica nanoparticles (PSiNPs) as additives to the injection seawater for oil recovery. Secondary and tertiary core flooding experiments were carried out with neutral-wet Berea sandstone at ambient conditions. Oil recovery parameters of nanoparticles such as interfacial tension (IFT) reduction, wettability alteration and log-jamming effect were investigated. Crude oil from the North Sea field was used. The concentrated solutions of PSiNPs were diluted to 0.1 wt % in synthetic seawater. Experimental results show that PSiNPs can improve water flood oil recovery efficiency. Secondary recoveries of nanofluid ranged from 60% to 72% of original oil in place (OOIP) compared to 56% OOIP achieved by reference water flood. In tertiary recovery mode, the incremental oil recovery varied from 2.6% to 5.2% OOIP. The IFT between oil and water was reduced in the presence of PSiNPs from 10.6 to 2.5–6.8 mN/m, which had minor effect on EOR. Permeability measurements indicated negligible particle retention within the core, consistent with the low differential pressure observed throughout nanofluid flooding. Amott–Harvey tests indicated wettability alteration from neutral- to water-wet condition. The overall findings suggest that PSiNPs have more potential as secondary EOR agents than tertiary agents, and the main recovery mechanism was found to be wettability alteration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Nano-Technology for Oil Recovery)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Nitrogen Foamed Stimulation Fluids Stabilized by Nanoadditives on Reservoir Rocks of Hydrocarbon Deposits
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(5), 766; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9050766 - 18 May 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The first objective of this experiment was to improve the stabilization of N2 based foam with nanoparticles as an alternative to typical fracturing fluid, which consists of a gelling agent (HPG—hydroxypropyl guar). The second objective of the project was to investigate the [...] Read more.
The first objective of this experiment was to improve the stabilization of N2 based foam with nanoparticles as an alternative to typical fracturing fluid, which consists of a gelling agent (HPG—hydroxypropyl guar). The second objective of the project was to investigate the damage caused by nanoparticle–based nitrogen foamed fracturing fluids (F.F) on a reference sandstone, using permeability and porosity tests, optical microscope with a Profilometer, and a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The properties of F.F with two types of SiO2 nanoparticles (hydrophilic fumed silica Areosil 300 and silica sol U-2 obtained by the sol-gel method), such as rheology and core damage, were investigated. The discussion of this research results is based on the stability tests carried out with the use of rheology and the foam half-life, formation damage ratio, and observation of exposed samples using SEM and the Profilometer. The permeability and porosity damage ratios of the damaged core samples were found to decrease when nitrogen foamed fluids were used. These results were confirmed with the Profilometer and SEM images. The experimental data showed that the foam stability increased when silica (SiO2) nanoparticles were added. SiO2 nanoparticle-surfactant-stabilized foam for fracturing is superior to traditional water-based fracturing fluids and causes lower core permeability damage than a traditional F.F. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Nano-Technology for Oil Recovery)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of the Ce4+/Ce3+ Redox-Couple on the Cyclic Regeneration for Adsorptive and Catalytic Performance of NiO-PdO/CeO2±δ Nanoparticles for n-C7 Asphaltene Steam Gasification
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(5), 734; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9050734 - 13 May 2019
Cited by 10
Abstract
The main objective of this study is to evaluate the regenerative effect of functionalized CeO2±δ nanoparticles with a mass fraction of 0.89% of NiO and 1.1% of PdO in adsorption and subsequent decomposition of n-C7 asphaltenes in steam gasification processes. [...] Read more.
The main objective of this study is to evaluate the regenerative effect of functionalized CeO2±δ nanoparticles with a mass fraction of 0.89% of NiO and 1.1% of PdO in adsorption and subsequent decomposition of n-C7 asphaltenes in steam gasification processes. During each regeneration cycle, the adsorption capacity and the catalytic activity of the nanoparticles were evaluated. To estimate the adsorption capacity of the nanoparticles, adsorption kinetics were studied at a fixed concentration of n-C7 asphaltenes of 10 mg·L−1 as well as adsorption isotherms at three different temperatures at 25 °C, 55 °C, and 75 °C. To evaluate the catalytic activity, the loss of mass of the nanoparticles was evaluated by isothermal conversions with a thermogravimetric analyzer at 230 °C, 240 °C, and 250 °C, and at non-isothermal conditions involving a heating from 100 °C to 600 °C at a 20 °C·min−1 heating rate. The asphaltenes showed a high affinity for being adsorbed over the nanoparticles surface, due to the nanoparticles-asphaltene interactions are stronger than those that occur between asphaltene-asphaltene, and this was maintained during nine evaluated regeneration cycles as observed in the Henry’s constant that increased slightly, with changes of 21%, 26% and 31% for 25 °C, 55 °C and 75 °C. Polanyi’s adsorption potential decreases by 2.6% for the same amount adsorbed from the first cycle to the ninth. In addition, the catalytic activity of the nanoparticles did not change significantly, showing that they decompose 100% of the n-C7 asphaltenes in all cycles. However, the small decrease in the adsorption capacity and catalytic activity of the nanoparticles is mainly due to the presence and change in concentration and ratio of certain elements such as oxygen, iron or others at the surface of the nanoparticle as shown by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses. Thermodynamic parameters of adsorption such as Δ H a d s o , Δ S a d s o , and Δ G a d s o and the effective activation energy (Ea) were calculated to compare adsorptive and catalytic performance during each cycle. There is an increase of 9.3% and 2.6% in the case of entropy and enthalpy, respectively, and a decrease of 0.5%, 3.1% and 6.5% for 25 °C, 55 °C and 75 °C respectively for the Gibss free energy from cycle 1 to cycle 9. It was found that these parameters are correlated with the Ce concentration and oxidation state ratios (Ce3+/Ce4+ couple) at the surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Nano-Technology for Oil Recovery)
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Open AccessArticle
High-Temperature Core Flood Investigation of Nanocellulose as a Green Additive for Enhanced Oil Recovery
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(5), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9050665 - 27 Apr 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Recent studies have discovered a substantial viscosity increase of aqueous cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) dispersions upon heat aging at temperatures above 90 °C. This distinct change in material properties at very low concentrations in water has been proposed as an active mechanism for enhanced [...] Read more.
Recent studies have discovered a substantial viscosity increase of aqueous cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) dispersions upon heat aging at temperatures above 90 °C. This distinct change in material properties at very low concentrations in water has been proposed as an active mechanism for enhanced oil recovery (EOR), as highly viscous fluid may improve macroscopic sweep efficiencies and mitigate viscous fingering. A high-temperature (120 °C) core flood experiment was carried out with 1 wt. % CNC in low salinity brine on a 60 cm-long sandstone core outcrop initially saturated with crude oil. A flow rate corresponding to 24 h per pore volume was applied to ensure sufficient viscosification time within the porous media. The total oil recovery was 62.2%, including 1.2% oil being produced during CNC flooding. Creation of local log-jams inside the porous media appears to be the dominant mechanism for additional oil recovery during nano flooding. The permeability was reduced by 89.5% during the core flood, and a thin layer of nanocellulose film was observed at the inlet of the core plug. CNC fluid and core flood effluent was analyzed using atomic force microscopy (AFM), particle size analysis, and shear rheology. The effluent was largely unchanged after passing through the core over a time period of 24 h. After the core outcrop was rinsed, a micro computed tomography (micro-CT) was used to examine heterogeneity of the core. The core was found to be homogeneous. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Nano-Technology for Oil Recovery)
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Open AccessArticle
Optimization of the Load of Transition Metal Oxides (Fe2O3, Co3O4, NiO and/or PdO) onto CeO2 Nanoparticles in Catalytic Steam Decomposition of n-C7 Asphaltenes at Low Temperatures
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(3), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9030401 - 09 Mar 2019
Cited by 16
Abstract
The main objective of this work is the catalyst optimization of Fe2O3-, Co3O4-, NiO- and/or PdO- (transition element oxides—TEO) functionalized CeO2 nanoparticles to maximize the conversion of asphaltenes under isothermal conditions at low temperatures [...] Read more.
The main objective of this work is the catalyst optimization of Fe2O3-, Co3O4-, NiO- and/or PdO- (transition element oxides—TEO) functionalized CeO2 nanoparticles to maximize the conversion of asphaltenes under isothermal conditions at low temperatures (<250 °C) during steam injection processes. Adsorption isotherms and the subsequent steam decomposition process of asphaltenes for evaluating the catalysis were performed through batch adsorption experiments and thermogravimetric analyses coupled to Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), respectively. The adsorption isotherms and the catalytic behavior were described by the solid-liquid equilibrium (SLE) model and isothermal model, respectively. Initially, three pairs of metal oxide combinations at a mass fraction of 1% of loading of CeNi1Pd1, CeCo1Pd1, and CeFe1Pd1 nanoparticles were evaluated based on the adsorption and catalytic activity, showing better results for the CeNi1Pd1 due to the Lewis acidity changes. Posteriorly, a simplex-centroid mixture design of experiments (SCMD) of three components was employed to optimize the metal oxides concentration (Ni and Pd) onto the CeO2 surface by varying the oxides concentration for mass fractions from 0.0% to 2.0% to maximize the asphaltene conversion at low temperatures. Results showed that by incorporating mono-elemental and bi-elemental oxides onto CeO2 nanoparticles, both adsorption and isothermal conversion of asphaltenes decrease in the order CeNi1Pd1 > CePd2 > CeNi0.66Pd0.66 > CeNi2 > CePd1 > CeNi1 > CeO2. It is worth mentioning that bi-elemental nanoparticles reduced the gasification temperature of asphaltenes in a larger degree than mono-elemental nanoparticles at a fixed amount of adsorbed asphaltenes of 0.02 mg·m−2, confirming the synergistic effects between Pd and Fe, Co, and Ni. Further, optimized nanoparticles (CeNi0.89Pd1.1) have the best performance by obtaining 100% asphaltenes conversion in less than 90 min at 220 °C while reducing 80% the activation energy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Nano-Technology for Oil Recovery)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Salinity on Silica Nanoparticle Adsorption Kinetics and Mechanisms for Fluid/Rock Interaction with Calcite
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(2), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9020213 - 06 Feb 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
This study addresses the kinetics of silica nanoparticle adsorption on calcite from a solution at three salinities: deionized water (DIW), synthetic seawater (SSW), and low salinity water (LSW). The nanoparticle adsorption mechanisms and the effects on calcite dissolution are addressed. It was shown [...] Read more.
This study addresses the kinetics of silica nanoparticle adsorption on calcite from a solution at three salinities: deionized water (DIW), synthetic seawater (SSW), and low salinity water (LSW). The nanoparticle adsorption mechanisms and the effects on calcite dissolution are addressed. It was shown that nanoparticle adsorption was best described with the second-order-kinetic model and that silica nanoparticle adsorption reduced calcite dissolution. This was confirmed by measuring the Ca2+ ion concentration, the pH, and by estimating the amount of calcite dissolved. This is an important conclusion of this work, especially as LSW as an enhanced oil recovery technique is a candidate for use in chalk fields. Less formation damage/dissolution of chalk when silica nanoparticles are combined with LSW can lower the risk of reservoir subsidence. Intraparticle diffusion and the pseudo-second-order models, indicated a reduction in the adsorption rate with increasing nanoparticle concentration in LSW. This is explained by possible repulsive forces among the nanoparticles as they diffuse from the bulk fluid onto the calcite surface. Ion charges reduce the repulsion among the nanoparticles through shielding. However, an increasing nanoparticle concentration reduces the shielding efficiency by the ions. Estimates of the surface forces confirmed that nanoparticle–mineral interaction is less attractive in LSW as compared to SSW and DIW. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Nano-Technology for Oil Recovery)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Metal Oxide Nanoparticles on the Performance of Xanthan Gum Solutions for Heavy Oil Recovery
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(1), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9010094 - 12 Jan 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
Recent studies revealed higher polymer flooding performance upon adding metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs) to acrylamide-based polymers during heavy oil recovery. The current study considers the effect of TiO2, Al2O3, in-situ prepared Fe(OH)3 and surface-modified SiO2 [...] Read more.
Recent studies revealed higher polymer flooding performance upon adding metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs) to acrylamide-based polymers during heavy oil recovery. The current study considers the effect of TiO2, Al2O3, in-situ prepared Fe(OH)3 and surface-modified SiO2 NPs on the performance of xanthan gum (XG) solutions to enhance heavy oil recovery. Surface modification of the SiO2 NPs was achieved by chemical grafting with 3-(methacryloyloxy)propyl]trimethoxysilane (MPS) and octyltriethoxysilane (OTES). The nanopolymer sols were characterized by their rheological properties and ζ-potential measurements. The efficiency of the nanopolymer sols in displacing oil was assessed using a linear sand-pack at 25 °C and two salinities (0.3 wt % and 1.0 wt % NaCl). The ζ-potential measurements showed that the NP dispersions in deionized (DI) water are unstable, but their colloidal stability improved in presence of XG. The addition of unmodified and modified SiO2 NPs increased the viscosity of the XG solution at all salinities. However, the high XG adsorption onto the surface of Fe(OH)3, Al2O3, and TiO2 NPs reduced the viscosity of the XG solution. Also, the NPs increased the cumulative oil recovery between 3% and 9%, and between 1% and 5% at 0 wt % and 0.3 wt % NaCl, respectively. At 1.0 wt % NaCl, the NPs reduced oil recovery by XG solution between 5% and 12%, except for Fe(OH)3 and TiO2 NPs. These NPs increased the oil recovery between 2% and 3% by virtue of reduced polymer adsorption caused by the alkalinity of the Fe(OH)3 and TiO2 nanopolymer sols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Nano-Technology for Oil Recovery)
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