Investigation of how Hydrophilic Silica Nanoparticles Affect Oil Recovery in Berea Sandstone: An Experimental Study
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Nanofluids, or nanoparticles dispersed in brine, has been launched as a promising enchaned oil recovery technique (EOR). Several coreflooding experiments were performed to investigate the effect of hydrophilic silica nanoparticles on enhanced oil recovery. In addition, contact angle and interfacial tension were measured in order to help explain the underlying mechanisms of the increased recovery seen from using the particles. Fumed silica particles proved to be better suited for oil recovery purposes compared to colloidal silica particles. In addition, the oil recovery increased with increasing particles size of both the fumed and the colloidal particles. Lastly, silica nanoparticles proved to be more effective at mobilizing oil in medium permeability cores compared to high permeability cores. Microscopic diversion due to log-jamming was suggested as the main recovery mechanism, with only minor contributions from interfacial tension reduction and wettability alteration.