Nanoparticle formation in stable microemulsions for enhanced oil recovery application

Ehsan Nourafkan, Jabbar Gardy, Maryam Asachi, Waqar Ahmed, Dongsheng Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Magnetic iron oxide and titanium dioxide nanoparticles (NPs) have been synthesized inside stable oil-in-water microemulsions in harsh environment of high temperature-high salinity (HT-HS). Screening of anionic-nonionic mixture of commercial surfactants was carried out to identify the appropriate compositions for the production of stable microemulsions in harsh environment. The effects of salinity and NPs formation on interfacial tension and rheological properties of microemulsions were evaluated and compared with other studies. It was found that oil-in-water microemulsions exhibit a non-Newtonian behavior in the absence of NPs, while the surfactant solutions show Newtonian behavior. The shear-thinning characteristic of microemulsions was improved and the interfacial tension between microemulsions and oil phase was increased after generation of NPs. A set of flooding experiments were accomplished using a microfluidic device to assess the efficiency of enhanced oil recovery on the pore scale in the absence and presence of NPs. The flooding tests confirmed the improvement of oil recovery efficiency after the formation of NPs inside the microemulsions. The oil displacement of API flooding was equal to 69.8% and the maximum oil displacement of 76.9% was observed after the injection of microemulsion containing iron oxide NPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12664-12677
Number of pages14
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number28
StatePublished - 18 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


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