Development of Swelling-Rate-Controllable Particle Gels to Enhance CO2 Flooding Sweep Efficiency and Storage Efficiency Email Page
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Performer:  University of Missouri Location:  Rolla, Missouri
Project Duration:  06/15/2015 – 09/30/2018 Award Number:  FE0024558
Technology Area:  Storage Infrastructure Total Award Value:  $1,240,396
Key Technology:   DOE Share:  $990,575
Performer Share:  $249,821

Figure 1: Schematic illustration of synthesis of<br/>nano-particle gels in supercritical CO<sub>2</sub>.
Figure 1: Schematic illustration of synthesis of
nano-particle gels in supercritical CO2.

Project Description

The overall objective of this project is to develop particle-based gel technology that can be used to enhance CO2 sweep efficiency and thus to improve CO2 storage in oil reservoirs. Sweep efficiency describes the fraction of the pattern area of an oil field from which reservoir fluid is displaced by the injected CO2. Specifically, novel environmental-friendly and temperature-responding preformed particle gels with particle sizes ranging from nanometer level to a few millimeters are being synthesized and evaluated relative to how they can enhance sweep efficiency (Figure 1). Criteria of reservoir selection as well as injection time is being optimized for improving flooding efficiency and CO2 storage.

Project Benefits

The project is providing a novel technology that can be used to solve the low sweeping efficiency and low CO2 storage issue in CO2 flooding reservoirs. Advantages of this technology include: (1) the particle gels under development are environmentally friendly, swelling rate controllable, and can resist CO2 acid for long periods of time; (2) Millimeter‐sized particles can only penetrate into fractures, and fracture‐like channels, which can minimize the damage of gels on unswept reservoirs; (3) Nano‐particles are hydrophilic and nano-sized when they are injected and can be delivered by supercritical CO2 to the reservoir. In the reservoir, they can swell tens to hundreds of times their size for a designed period to plug high permeability zones in the depth of a reservoir. The injected CO2 can then be diverted into low permeability zones to improve oil recovery.

Presentations, Papers, and Publications

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager Mary Underwood:
Technology Manager Traci Rodosta:
Principal Investigator Dr. Baojun Bai: