Abstract

Crude oil production has distinct phases of recovery: primary, secondary, and tertiary. After primary and secondary recovery, up to 60% of the hydrocarbon can still remain in the reservoir, needing more advanced recovery techniques. Nanoparticles and their unique size dependent properties can be engineered in a number of high end technologies for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) applications. Naturally, as the average reservoir depth can go anywhere from 35 meters up to 12 km, it is necessary that the nanoparticles present a reasonable mobility, otherwise, without reaching the area of interest, i.e., oil/ water interface, their use would not be feasible. This work aims to study the interaction of different nanoparticles synthesized by our group with a silica substrate, so as to screen the mobility of the particles. This investigation was done using a Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation (QCM-D) and an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), with nanoparticles of varying compositions over a wide range of salinity concentrations, and pHs to understand the role these parameters play in the nanoparticle-surface interaction.

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