Performance improvement of ionic surfactant flooding in carbonate rock samples by use of nanoparticles

Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, James Sheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Various surfactants have been used in upstream petroleum processes like chemical flooding. Ultimately, the performance of these surfactants depends on their ability to reduce the interfacial tension between oil and water. The surfactant concentration in the aqueous solution decreases owing to the loss of the surfactant on the rock surface in the injection process. The main objective of this paper is to inhibit the surfactant loss by means of adding nanoparticles. Sodium dodecyl sulfate and silica nanoparticles were used as ionic surfactant and nanoparticles in our experiments, respectively. AEROSIL® 816 and AEROSIL® 200 are hydrophobic and hydrophilic nanoparticles. To determine the adsorption loss of the surfactant onto rock samples, a conductivity approach was used. Real carbonate rock samples were used as the solid phase in adsorption experiments. It should be noted that the rock samples were water wet. This paper describes how equilibrium adsorption was investigated by examining adsorption behavior in a system of carbonate sample (solid phase) and surfactant solution (aqueous phase). The initial surfactant and nanoparticle concentrations were 500–5000 and 500–2000 ppm, respectively. The rate of surfactant losses was extremely dependent on the concentration of the surfactant in the system, and the adsorption of the surfactant decreased with an increase in the nanoparticle concentration. Also, the hydrophilic nanoparticles are more effective than the hydrophobic nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-736
Number of pages12
JournalPetroleum Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Adsorption
  • Carbonate rock
  • Hydrophilic silica nanoparticles
  • Hydrophobic silica nanoparticles
  • Ionic surfactant


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