Unconventional reservoir plays an increasingly important role in the world energy system, but its recovery is always quite low. Therefore, the economic and effective enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technology is urgently required. Moreover, with the aggravation of greenhouse effect, carbon neutrality has become the human consensus. How to sequestrate CO2 more economically and effectively has aroused wide concerns. Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS)-EOR is a win-win technology, which can not only enhance oil recovery but also increase CO2 sequestration efficiency. However, current CCUS-EOR technologies usually face serious gas channeling which finally result in the poor performance on both EOR and CCUS. This study introduced CO2 electrochemical conversion into CCUS-EOR, which successively combines CO2 electrochemical reduction and crude oil electrocatalytic cracking both achieves EOR and CCUS.
In this study, multiscale experiments were conducted to study the effect and mechanism of CO2 electrochemical reduction for CCUS-EOR. Firstly, the catalyst and catalytic electrode were synthetized and then were characterized by using scanning electron microscope (SEM) & energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Then, electrolysis experiment & liquid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) experiments were implemented to study the mechanism of CO2 electrochemical reduction. And electrolysis experiment & gas chromatography (GC) & viscosity & density experiments were used to investigate the mechanism of crude oil electrocatalytic cracking. Finally, contact angle and coreflooding experiments were respectively conducted to study the effect of the proposed technology on wettability and CCUS-EOR.
SEM & EDS & XPS results confirmed that the high pure SnO2 nanoparticles with the hierarchical, porous structure, and the large surface area were synthetized. Electrolysis & 1H NMR experiment showed that CO2 has converted into formate with the catalysis of SnO2 nanoparticles. Electrolysis & GC & Density & Viscosity experiments indicated that the crude oil was electrocatalytically cracked into the light components (<C20) from the heavy components (C21∼C37). As voltage increases from 2.0V to 7.0V, the intensity of CO2 electrocchemical reduction and crude oil electrocatalytic cracking enhances to maximum at 3.5V (i.e., formate concentration reaches 6.45mmol/L and carbon peak decreases from C17 to C15) and then weakens. Contact angle results indicated that CO2 electrochemical reduction and crude oil electocatalytic cracking work jointly to promote wettability alteration. Thereof, CO2 electrochemical reduction effect is dominant. Coreflooding results indicated that CO2 electrochemical reduction technology has great potential on EOR and CCUS. With the SnO2 catalytic electrode at optimal voltage (3.5V), the additional recovery reaches 9.2% and CO2 sequestration efficiency is as high as 72.07%.
This paper introduced CO2 electrochemical conversion into CCUS-EOR, which successfully combines CO2 electrochemical reduction and crude oil electrocatalytic cracking into one technology. It shows great potential on CCUS-EOR and more studies are required to reveal its in-depth mechanisms.