Formation damage induced by water-based Alumina nanofluids during enhanced oil recovery: Influence of postflush salinity

Ichhuy Ngo, K. Sasaki, Ronald Nguele, Yuichi Sugai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Injecting nanofluids (NFs) has been proven to be a potential method to enhance oil recovery. Stranded oil is produced by wettability alteration where nanoparticles form a wedge film on pore wall surfaces, which is thought to shrink the pore space of the reservoir. Furthermore, ensuring the stability of the injected NF during the application is a major challenge. A low permeability reservoir and salinity of water make the response of NF injection to the formation damage more difficult. This article, therefore, studied the formation damage induced by the injection of alumina nanofluids (Al-NFs) in a relatively low permeability (7.1 mD) sandstone core. The salinity of the postflush water was also considered to mitigate the destructive impact. Al-NF was formulated by dispersing alumina nanoparticles (Al-NPs) in an aqueous solution of sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate (SDBS) at its critical micelle concentration (CMC, 0.1 wt %). The formation damage, inherent to Al-NF injection, was evaluated by core-flooding tests. The assays consisted of the injection of 1 PV Al-NF (0.05 wt %) at the trail of which postflush at different salinities was flooded. The study found that the salinity of the postflush has an effect on the formation damage and oil recovery factor (RF). A chase water with a salinity concentration of 3 wt % sodium chloride (NaCl) produced an RF of 8.7% compared to a base case of water-flooding with a pressure drop of up to 13 MPa across the core (70 mm in length). These results pertained to the deposition of Al-NPs at the injection end. However, lowering the post-flush salinity to 1 wt % NaCl mitigated the formation damage as evidenced by the decrease in pressure (35%) and an increase in RF to 17.2%.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberacsomega.0c02473
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalACS Omega
Publication statusPublished - Oct 23 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Fuel Technology


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