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Research Papers: Petroleum Engineering

Mobilization of Crude Oil in Porous Media With Oil-Soluble Surfactant Delivered by Hydrosoluble Micelles

[+] Author and Article Information
Chike G. Ezeh, Yufei Duan

Department of Chemical &
Biomolecular Engineering,
Tulane University,
New Orleans, LA 70118

Riccardo Rausa

Eni S.p.A., Upstream and Technical Services,
R&D-D,
San Donato M.se Res., Center,
San Donato Milanese, 20097, Italy

Kyriakos D. Papadopoulos

Department of Chemical &
Biomolecular Engineering,
Tulane University,
New Orleans, LA 70118
e-mail: kyriakos@tulane.edu

1Chike G. Ezeh and Yufei Duan contributed equally to this work.

2Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received March 16, 2018; final manuscript received August 2, 2018; published online September 14, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Daoyong (Tony) Yang.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 141(3), 032902 (Sep 14, 2018) (10 pages) Paper No: JERT-18-1211; doi: 10.1115/1.4041094 History: Received March 16, 2018; Revised August 02, 2018

In this work, an oil-soluble surfactant was studied to enhance crude oil mobilization in a cryolite-packed miniature bed. The cryolite packed bed provided a transparent, random porous medium for observation at the microscopic level. In the first part of the paper, oil-soluble surfactants, Span 80 and Eni-surfactant (ES), were dissolved directly into the crude oil. The porous medium was imbued with the crude oil (containing the surfactants), and de-ionized water was the flooding phase; in this experiment, the system containing ES had the best performance. Subsequently, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), a hydrosoluble surfactant, was used to solubilize the ES, with the SDS acting as a carrier for the ES to the contaminated porous media. Finally, the SDS/ES micellar solutions were used in oil-removal tests on the packed bed. Grayscale image analysis was used to quantify the oil recovery effectiveness for the flooding experiments by measuring the white pixel percentage in the packed bed images. The SDS/ES flooding mixture had a better performance than the SDS alone.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Drainage (left) and imbibition (right) two-phase flow in a miniature packed bed

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Fig. 2

“Alder-ene” type synthesis of PIBSA

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Fig. 3

General chemical structure of different PIBSA derivatives

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Fig. 4

Schematic of the flow experiment showing the packed bed (not drawn to scale)

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Fig. 5

Drainage flow patterns for water/crude, water/crude (1 wt % span 80), and water/crude (1 wt % ES) systems at 0.1 and 1.0 μL/min

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Fig. 6

(a) Clean cryolite, (b) water/crude, (c) water/crude (with 1 wt % span 80), and (d) water/crude (with 1 wt % ES) systems after instant imbibition tests at 1.0 μL/min

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Fig. 7

8-bit intensity grayscale stepped pattern

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Fig. 8

Cropped microscopic images of (a) clean cryolite, (b) water/crude, (c) water/crude (with 1 wt % span 80), and (d) water/crude (with 1 wt % ES) systems after instant imbibition tests at 1.0 μL/min

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Fig. 9

Histogram of cropped microscopic images for (a) clean cryolite, (b) water/crude, (c) water/crude (1 wt % span 80), and (d) water/crude (1 wt % ES) systems after instant imbibition tests at 1.0 μL/min

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Fig. 10

Cropped binary microscopic images (×4) of for (a) clean cryolite, (b) water/crude, (c) water/crude (1 wt % span 80), and (d) water/crude (1 wt % ES) systems after instant imbibition tests at 1.0 μL/min

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Fig. 11

Microscopic pictures (×20) of two cryolite packed beds after instant imbibition with crude oil containing span 80 1 wt % (left) and crude oil containing ES 1 wt % (right)

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Fig. 12

Lognormal size distribution of (a) 20 nm Polystyrene latex, (b) SDS alone, and (c) SDS:ES (100:1)

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