The super-hydrophobic silica nanoparticles are applied to alter the wettability of rock surface from water-wet to oil-wet. The aim of this is to reduce injection pressure so as to enhance water injection efficiency in low permeability reservoirs. Therefore, a new type of environmentally responsive nanosilica (denote as ERS) is modified with organic compound containing hydrophobic groups and “pinning” groups by covalent bond and then covered with a layer of hydrophilic organic compound by chemical adsorption to achieve excellent water dispersibility. Resultant ERS is homogeneously dispersed in water with a size of about 4–8 nm like a micro-emulsion system and can be easily injected into the macro or nano channels of ultra-low permeability reservoirs. The hydrophobic nanosilica core can be released from the aqueous delivery system owing to its strong dependence on the environmental variation from normal condition to injection wells (such as pH and salinity). Then the exposed silica nanoparticles form a thin layer on the surface of narrow pore throat, leading to the wettability from water-wet to oil-wet. More importantly, the two rock cores with different permeability were surface treated with ERS dispersion with a concentration of 2 g/L, exhibit great reduce of water injection pressure by 57.4 and 39.6%, respectively, which shows great potential for exploitation of crude oil from ultra-low permeability reservoirs during water flooding.
Journal of Nanoparticle Research – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 2, 2017
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