Nanoparticle modified polyacrylamide for enhanced oil recovery at harsh conditions

Maje Alhaji Haruna, Jabbar Gardy, Guice Yao, Zhongliang Hu, Nicole Hondow, Dongsheng Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Silicon dioxide (SiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) have been recently proposed to increase the performance of polyacrylamide (PAM) for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) applications. However, SiO2/PAM nanocomposites tend to agglomerate or even desposit under harsh conditions such as high temperature-high salinity (HT-HS), which greatly decreases the potential for future field applications. In this work, SiO2 NPs were modified by (3-aminopropyl) triethoxysilane (M_SiO2) to create positively charged active groups that enabled strong interaction with PAM functional groups, leading to high dispersion stability. Three samples including M_SiO2/PAM, SiO2/PAM and NP-free PAM were synthesised in-situ via free radical polymerisation, and their thermal stability, rheological properties and the effect of aging time were studied. It was found that M_SiO2 could reduce the thermal degradation of the polymer and safeguard its backbone, resulting in much better thermal stability of PAM in harsh environments. After 90 days of aging, SiO2/PAM and NP-free PAM had 45 and 78% viscosity reduction; whereas only 10% reduction was observed for M_SiO2/PAM. In addition, core-flooding experiments showed that M_SiO2/PAM solutions produced more oil recovery than those from SiO2/PAM and NP-free PAM solutions at HT-HS condition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117186
StatePublished - 15 May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Enhanced oil recovery
  • High temperature and high salinity
  • Polyacrylamide
  • Polymer flooding
  • Silicon dioxide nanoparticles
  • Stability


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