Thermal Stability of Oilfield Aminopolycarboxylic Acids/Salts
- Khatere Sokhanvarian (Texas A&M University) | Hisham A. Nasr-El-Din (Texas A&M University) | Corine A. de Wolf (Akzo Nobel Chemicals)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- February 2016
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 12 - 21
- 2016.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- GLDA, chelating agents, scale, thermal stability, acidizing
- 1 in the last 30 days
- 391 since 2007
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Chelating agents are used to remove various inorganic scales, including sulfates and carbonates. They are also used as standalone stimulation fluids and as iron-control agents during acidizing treatments. The main chelating agents used in the oil field include ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA), N-(hydroxyethyl)-ethylenediaminetriacetic acid (HEDTA), and glutamic acid diacetic acid (GLDA). (Note that the abbreviations for these chelating agents will be used throughout the rest of the paper.) One of the concerns with these chelants is their thermal stability at elevated temperatures.
Chelant solutions (0.7 to 0.8 M) of HEDTA, GLDA, NTA, EDTA, and their mono-/disalts were prepared. The aqueous solutions of these chelants were heated at various temperatures (300 to 400°F) and times (2 to 12 hours). The concentration of chelant was measured with a titration method that uses FeCl3 solutions. The products of thermal decomposition of chelants were determined with mass spectrometry (MS) and gas-chromatography/MS techniques.
Most chelants decomposed at temperatures greater than 350°F. At 400°F and after 12 hours of heating, diammonium salt of GLDA degraded more quickly than diammonium salt of EDTA chelant. Analyses of NH4H3GLDA with MS techniques after heating highlighted that the decomposition products included iminodiacetic acid, hydroxyacetic acid, and α-hydroxyglutaric acid. Studying the kinetics of aqueous solutions of NaH3GLDA, NaH2HEDTA, and (NH4)2H2EDTA showed that their thermal-degradation kinetics followed a pseudofirst-order reaction. The Arrhenius equation can be used to predict the activation energy that is necessary for the degradation mechanisms of chelants.
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