Application of Aluminum oxide Nanoparticles in Heavy Oil recovery processes using Hele-shaw cell

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Recoverable oil is trapped after secondary recovery processes due to capillary forces, inapt mobility ratio & heterogeneity in the reservoir. To optimize the recovery of oil, improved oil recovery (IOR) techniques must be applied, which are not always so economical. Use of Aluminum oxide Nanoparticle (Al2O3 NP) technology for IOR is a recent innovation that is in short supply in literature as Al2O3 NP reduces interfacial tension between oil & water and aid oil mobilization.

Laboratory experiments were carried out using a Hele-shaw cell, 2-D glass cell with glass beads as the porous media to investigate the flow and heavy oil recovery by Nanoparticles injection. The experimental work was in six folds with six slugs labeled A, B, C, D, E and F respectively.
Results obtained indicated that flooding with the nanoparticles in a water-ethanol mixture (that is Slugs A and D) produced high recovery compared to that of Nanoparticles (NP) in brine (that is Slugs B and E only) and NP in ethanol (that is Slugs C and F only) because aluminum oxide is an hydrophilic nanoparticles and would merge with water and allow the ethanol to reduce the interfacial tension, compared to using brine. Therefore, the dispersing fluid plays an important role in the recovery of oil by NP slugs.

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Stephanie Amamize


Writerschoice Nigeria