The effects of pH, time and temperature on the stability and viscosity of cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) dispersions: implications for use in enhanced oil recovery
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataVis full innførsel
Cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) are currently being investigated as potential additives for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Presented in this paper is a study investigating the effects of different physical and chemical environments that low concentration CNC dispersions may be subjected to at oil reservoir conditions. Different concentrations of CNC dispersed in de-ionized water and in a 1000 ppm NaCl brine were subjected to variations in pH and temperature, and the results showed that the dispersions remained stable in the pH range expected in oil reservoirs (between 5 and 9). Stable dispersions were also observed when heated to temperatures ranging from 50 to 90 °C. At extended heat aging at 90 and 120 °C for seven days; beginning degradation was observed for both types of CNC dispersions; with viscosity increase and pH decrease as the most important indicators. CNC dispersed in 1000 ppm NaCl brine was generally more heat tolerant than the CNC dispersed in de-ionized water. The increase in viscosity during heat aging can be very interesting for EOR applications. A fluid that increases its viscosity with heat and time will be easier to inject due to a low initial viscosity, and when the viscosity increases in the porous reservoir, the effect can be a stable waterfront and less viscous fingering, which again can lead to increased sweep efficiency and better oil recovery.