Unlocking the Potential of Hydrophilic Nanoparticles as Novel Enhanced Oil Recovery Method: An Experimental Investigation
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available inorganic nanoparticle candidates that are long time stable at a high temperature and in a high-salinity water/oil environment, easily prepared in a large-scale production with a relatively low cost, and environmentally friendly. When exposed to fluid and injected into a reservoir, the interaction of nanoparticles with their surroundings determines their transport behavior and functionality. On a nanoscale, the interfacial properties between nanoparticles and water/oil/rock have been characterized by a particle analyzer and in-situ scanning electron microscope nanoindentation. The results link the nanoparticle interaction and nanofluid rheology to the applied nanoparticle type, size, concentration, and surface properties. Transportability is a pre-requisite for nanoparticles to be useful in reservoir application, and particle retention has been observed and measured. The stability of a nanofluid at high temperature has also been solved using a stabilizer. The overall investigations from this research show that hydrophilic nanoparticles have great potential for EOR and offer benefits in challenging reservoir conditions such as high salinity, different salt compositions, water hardness, high temperature, different initial rock wettability, and low permeability. The type and size of nanoparticles affects Nano-EOR performance. It also observed that Nano-EOR performance could be maximized by optimizing the nanofluid concentration and adding a stabilizer. By evaluating the contact angle, pH, surface conductivity and interfacial tension as the proposed displacement mechanisms in Nano-EOR, it was observed that wettability alteration played a more dominant role.