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Experimentation and modeling of surface chemistry of the silica-water interface for low salinity waterflooding at elevated temperatures
- Duffy, Timothy S., Raman, Balaji, Hall, Derek M., Machesky, Michael L., Johns, Russell T., Lvov, Serguei N.
- Colloids and surfaces 2019 v.570 pp. 233-243
- carbonates, models, oil fields, oils, pH, prediction, salinity, silica, sodium chloride, temperature, wettability, zeta potential
- Models predicting wettability alteration of mineral-brine-oil interfaces during low-salinity-waterflooding (LSW) should account for the elevated temperatures typically found in oil reservoirs. For the first time, high temperature ζ-potential (zeta potential) data for silica are collected and used to interpret surface chemistries and interactions at reservoir-like conditions to predict temperature’s effect on wettability alteration. Mobility data for amorphous silica in varying NaCl(aq) concentrations at 25, 100, and 150 °C and neutral pH were obtained through microelectrophoresis experiments. Calculated ζ-potentials were fit with surface complexation model (SCM) parameters to predict electrical double layer (EDL) parameters based upon the Gouy-Chapman-Stern-Grahame (GCSG) model. ζ-potentials increased with increasing temperature (around 50% increase from 25 to 150 °C) and decreasing NaCl concentrations (10−1–10−4 mol kg−1). These trends, along with Derjaguin-Verwey-Landau-Overbeek (DLVO) theory, suggests that overall repulsive forces extend farther from the surface at low salinity and higher temperatures, implying greater wetting thickness/surface wettability in these environments. The resulting surface concentration calculations suggest that LSW is most impactful up to 10−2 mol kg−1 of salt, and that additional dilution below 10−3 mol kg−1 will negligibly impact oil recovery, particularly at reservoir temperatures above 100 °C. The analysis provides a framework for treating more complex reservoir systems, such as carbonates in multivalent brines.