Experimental study on electromagnetic-assisted ZnO nanofluid flooding for enhanced oil recovery (EOR).

PLoS ONE. 2018;13(2):e0193518 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0193518


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Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML



Muhammad Adil

Keanchuan Lee

Hasnah Mohd Zaid

Noor Rasyada Ahmad Latiff

Mohamad Sahban Alnarabiji


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Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Recently, nano-EOR has emerged as a new frontier for improved and enhanced oil recovery (IOR & EOR). Despite their benefits, the nanoparticles tend to agglomerate at reservoir conditions which cause their detachment from the oil/water interface, and are consequently retained rather than transported through a porous medium. Dielectric nanoparticles including ZnO have been proposed to be a good replacement for EOR due to their high melting point and thermal properties. But more importantly, these particles can be polarized under electromagnetic (EM) irradiation, which provides an innovative smart Nano-EOR process denoted as EM-Assisted Nano-EOR. In this study, parameters involved in the oil recovery mechanism under EM waves, such as reducing mobility ratio, lowering interfacial tensions (IFT) and altering wettability were investigated. Two-phase displacement experiments were performed in sandpacks under the water-wet condition at 95°C, with permeability in the range of 265-300 mD. A crude oil from Tapis oil field was employed; while ZnO nanofluids of two different particle sizes (55.7 and 117.1 nm) were prepared using 0.1 wt. % nanoparticles that dispersed into brine (3 wt. % NaCl) along with SDBS as a dispersant. In each flooding scheme, three injection sequential scenarios have been conducted: (i) brine flooding as a secondary process, (ii) surfactant/nano/EM-assisted nano flooding, and (iii) second brine flooding to flush nanoparticles. Compare with surfactant flooding (2% original oil in place/OOIP) as tertiary recovery, nano flooding almost reaches 8.5-10.2% of OOIP. On the other hand, EM-assisted nano flooding provides an incremental oil recovery of approximately 9-10.4% of OOIP. By evaluating the contact angle and interfacial tension, it was established that the degree of IFT reduction plays a governing role in the oil displacement mechanism via nano-EOR, compare to mobility ratio. These results reveal a promising way to employ water-based ZnO nanofluid for enhanced oil recovery purposes at a relatively high reservoir temperature.