Low shear injection of different-nature polymers through various sand and sandstone cores has been performed to study the specific influence of adsorption on polymer propagation and flow behavior.

As predicted by the depletion layer theory, polymer propagates faster than brine through non adsorbing porous media giving a mobility ratio less than solution viscosity ratio. An increase in clay content both decreases permeability and increases polymer adsorption. Thus a polymer propagates through pores having a smaller cross-section at a lower rate. When pore sizes become close to macromolecule size, polymer adsorbs, forming bridges in pore throats, thus giving very poor and irregular propagation rates. A dynamic method for adsorption measurements on heterogeneous rocks is proposed. Our experimental results effectively fit a capillary flow model with a crossflow section reduced by an impenetrable adsorbed layer.

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