Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Enhancing Oil Recovery with Hydrophilic Polymer-Coated Silica Nanoparticles

Version 1 : Received: 24 September 2020 / Approved: 25 September 2020 / Online: 25 September 2020 (14:22:21 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Bila, A.; Torsæter, O. Enhancing Oil Recovery with Hydrophilic Polymer-Coated Silica Nanoparticles. Energies 2020, 13, 5720. Bila, A.; Torsæter, O. Enhancing Oil Recovery with Hydrophilic Polymer-Coated Silica Nanoparticles. Energies 2020, 13, 5720.


Nanoparticles have been proposed for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The research has demonstrated marvelous effort to understand the mechanisms of nanoparticles-EOR. Nevertheless, gaps still exist in terms of understanding the improved fluids and fluid-rock interactions by nanoparticles, which are the key driving forces for oil mobilization. This paper investigates four types of polymer-coated silica nanoparticles as additives for water flooding oil recovery in water-wet reservoirs. A series of flooding experiments were performed with nanoparticles at 0.1 wt.% in seawater at ambient conditions. The dynamics of fluids, fluid-rock interface interactions and fluid flow behavior were characterized in order to understand oil recovery mechanisms of nanoparticles. Experimental results showed an increase in oil recovery up to 14.8%-point with nanofluid injection compared to an average of 40% of the original oil in place (OOIP) obtained from control water flood test. Moreover, the nanoparticles mobilized residual oil and incremented oil recovery up to 9.2% of the OOIP. Displacement studies show that no single mechanism could account for the EOR effect with the application of nanoparticles. Instead, the mobilization of oil seemed to occur through a combination of reduced oil/water IFT, change in the rock surface roughness and wettability to more water-wet, and microscopic flow diversion due to clogging of the pores.


Polymer-coated nanoparticles; Crude oil recovery; Interfacial tension; Wettability alteration; flow diversion


Engineering, Energy and Fuel Technology

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