Effect of Pressure and Temperature on Oil-Water Interfacial Tensions for a Series of Hydrocarbons
- M.E. Hassan (Dept. of Mines and Quarries, Egypt) | R.F. Nielsen (The Pennsylania State College) | J.C. Calhoun (The Pennsylania State College)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- December 1953
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 299 - 306
- 1953. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.6 Formation Evaluation & Management
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An apparatus was constructed for the measurement of interfacial tensions over a range of temperatures and pressures. This apparatus utilized the pendent drop method, and resembles in construction similar apparatus recently described in the literature and in use in some petroleum research laboratories. The interfacial tensions of benzene, propane, n-pentane, n-hexane, n-octane, and iso-octane against water were measured at temperatures ranging from 26? to 82? C and at pressures ranging from 1 to 204 atm. Values of interfacial tensions for the benzene-water system and their variations with temperature and pressure are generally in good agreement with values of previous investigations.
The data in all cases showed a slight decrease of interfacial tension with pressure at constant temperature in the range studied. The effect of pressure became less as the pressure was increased, with an indication of a reversal of the effect at higher pressures. There was a decrease of interfacial tension with temperature at constant pressure in all cases, as would normally be expected. This rate of decrease became greater the higher the temperature.
A general equation is presented for the interfacial tensions as a function of pressure and temperature over the range studied, and the constants calculated for each system. A definite trend was found in the effect of molecular weight on the interfacial tension at a given temperature and pressure, for the homologous series from propane to n-octane. Data for n-decane from the literature fitted well into this trend.
It has been recognized for many years that surface forces play an active part in the production history of an oil reservoir as well as in determining the amount of unrecoverable oil. The magnitudes of these forces are governed by the values of the interfacial tensions. These vary greatly with composition, pressure, and temperature. The effect of composition is greater than that of pressure and temperature over the ranges normally encountered. In fact, because of the variety of compounds present in a crude, no attempt has yet been made to correlate crude composition with its surface tension or with its interfacial tension against water. The amount of dissolved methane greatly affects the surface properties of an oil, and there are "surface-active" compounds in crudes which have a much greater effect on boundary tensions than do equal amounts of hydrocarbons.
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