A customized HPLC methodology is developed to allow characterizing and screening the recovery change due to ionic variation of injected water. Extended contact time is needed to see the impact of electrolytes on oil recovery. We could not observe significant differences in oil release when hydrophobized calcite particles are flooded with seawater with or without sulfate. However, a significant recovery difference between water and 0.1M MgCl2 solution is detected, where Mg2+ solution is able to recover more oil than water.
The developed methodology here allows experiments to take place within few days to provide results, which allows many runs to be performed. The advantages of this technique compared to the currently available methodologies are due to the small sample sizes and ease of use. Many columns can be analyzed; the packing material can be changed to calcite, chalk, or silica. In addition, different types of hydrophobic layer / particles can be used to coat the packing material. Comparing different electrolytes to one another, and determining the effect of electrolyte concentration on oil recovery requires many experiments. Therefore, this technique could be useful to make studies faster and easier to validate the recovery theories.