Oil & Natural Gas Projects
Exploration and Production Technologies
Behavior of Surfactant Mixture at Solid/Liquid and Oil/Liquid Interface
in Chemical Flooding Systems
This project was selected in response to DOE's Oil Exploration and Production
solicitation DE-PS26-01NT41048, focus area Reservoir Efficiency Processes.
The aim of the project was to develop a knowledge base to help the design of
enhanced processes for mobilizing and extracting untapped oil.
New York, NY
The adsorption and aggregation behavior of sugar-based surfactants and their
mixtures with other types of surfactants has been studied to delineate the relationships
between aggregate structures and chemical compositions of the surfactants and
gain a full knowledge of the aggregate shape, size, and structure, due to the
important role these aggregates play in governing crude oil removal efficiency.
The findings from this project will provide valuable information for the study
of mechanisms of Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) by chemical flooding and for the
utilization of surfactant mixture systems in IOR by means of synergistic/antagonistic
micellization and adsorption properties.
There is a considerable amount of oil trapped, together with water and gas,
in reservoirs made up of porous and permeable rocks after primary oil production.
Various chemical methods have been under development in order to recover this
additional oil. These methods have been in general inadequate due to the high
costs of the processes as well as significant loss of chemicals by adsorption
on reservoir minerals and precipitation. There is a need to develop innovative
and cost-effective reagent schemes to increase recovery from domestic oil reservoirs.
The key criterion for the successful application of the techniques using candidate
surfactants is minimal loss of surfactants by adsorption and precipitation.
Among the project milestones:
- A novel analytical ultracentrifugation technique has been successfully employed
for the first time to characterize the aggregate species present in mixed micellar
- A predictive model was developed for the adsorption and aggregation behavior
of surfactants, especially mixed surfactant systems in solutions and at solid/liquid
interfaces. It was used to explore the crucial role of surfactant aggregates,
especially mixed aggregates, in controlling important interfacial properties
such as wettability in IOR processes.
This project has been completed, and a new DOE project, Mineral-Surfactant
Interactions for Minimum Reagents Precipitation and Adsorption for Improved
Oil Recovery is under way to investigate the effects of solid mineralogy on
minimum chemical loss and maximum oil release in IOR processes.
Sedimentation coefficient of dilute mixed solution of n-dodecyl-b-D-maltoside
(DM) and nonyl phenol ethoxylated decyl ether (NP-10) by analytical ultracentrifugation
(AUC): Coexistence of mixed micelle species.
Five semi-annual technique reports and a final report submitted to DOE.
Zhang, L., Somasundaran, P., Mielczarski, J., and Mielczarski, E., Adsorption
mechanism of n-dodecyl-?-D-maltoside on alumina, Journal of Colloid and Interface
Science, 256, 16-22, 2002.
Zhang, R., Zhang, L., and Somasundaran, P., Study of mixtures of n-dodecyl-?-D-maltoside
with anionic, cationic and nonionic surfactant in aqueous solutions using
surface tension and fluorescence techniques, Journal of Colloid and Interface
Science, 278, 453-460, 2004.
Zhang, R., Somasundaran, P., Abnormal micellar growth in sugar-based and
ethoxylated nonionic surfactant and their mixtures in dilute regimes using
analytical ultracentrifugation, Langmuir, 20, 8552-8558, 2004.
Zhang, Rui, and Somasundaran, P., Aggregate Formation of Binary Nonionic
Surfactant Mixtures on Hydrophilic Surfaces, Langmuir, 21(11), 4868 - 4873,
Project Start: September 1, 2001
Project End: August 31, 2004
Anticipated DOE Contribution: $580,490
Performer Contribution: $154,307 (21% of total)
NETL - Virginia Weyland (email@example.com or 918-699-2041)
Columbia U. - P. Somasundaran (firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-854-2926)