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J179628 DOI: 10.

2118/179628-PA Date: 9-February-17 Stage: Page: 1 Total Pages: 8

Nanoparticle-Stabilized Carbon Dioxide

Foam Used In Enhanced Oil Recovery:
Effect of Different Ions and Temperatures
Jingshan San, Solvay; Sai Wang, University of North Dakota;
Jianjia Yu, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology; Ning Liu, University of Louisiana at Lafayette; and
Robert Lee, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Summary tails. Hence, the surfactant may favor water to such an extent that it
This paper reports the study of the effect of different ions (mono- adsorbs only weakly at the CO2/water interface, resulting as insuffi-
valent, bivalent, and multiple ions) on nanosilica-stabilized carbon cient for foam generation and stabilization (Worthen et al. 2013).
dioxide (CO2) foam generation. CO2 foam was generated by coin- Because of their natural properties, such as their excellent chemical
jecting CO2/5,000 ppm nanosilica dispersion (dispersed in differ- stability and low retention on mineral surfaces, nanoparticles are
ent concentrations of brine) into a sandstone core under 1,500 psi regarded as a potential alternative for producing highly stable foams
and at different temperatures. A sapphire observation cell was (Worthen et al. 2012, 2015; Singh and Mohanty 2014; Emrani
used to determine the foam texture and foam stability. Pressure and Nasr-El-Din 2015). It is known that small solid particles can
drop across the core was measured to estimate the foam mobility. adsorb at fluid/fluid interfaces to stabilize bubbles in foams without
The results indicated that more CO2 foam was generated as the so- surfactant molecules (Binks 2002). A wide variety of mineral pow-
dium chloride (NaCl) concentration increased from 1.0 to 10%. In ders can be used to stabilize such foams, such as silica, iron
addition, the foam bubble became smaller and foam stability oxide, hydroxides, metal sulfates, clays, and carbon. Unlike surfac-
improved with the increase in NaCl concentration. The CO2-foam tants, nanoparticle-stabilized CO2 foam exhibits long-term foam
mobility decreased from 13.1 to 2.6 md/cp when the NaCl concen- stability because of its high adsorption energy. Its estimated adsorp-
tration increased from 1 to 10%. For the bivalent ions, the gener- tion energy is approximately 104 kBT for particles with a size
ated CO2-foam mobility decreased from 19.7 to 4.8 md/cp when of 30 nm at 24 C. For a comparison, the adsorption energy for a typ-
CaCl2 concentration increased from 0.1 to 1.0%. Synthetic pro- ical surfactant molecule is on the order of kBT (Aroonsri et al.
duced water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 18,583 ppm was 2013). (kBT is the product of the Boltzmann constant and the tem-
prepared to investigate the effect of multiple ions on foam genera- perature. It is used in physics as a unit of energy; for example,
tion. The results showed that stable CO2 foam was generated as kBT ¼ 4.11  1021 J at 25 C.) Hence, the presence of nanopar-
the synthetic produced water and nanosilica dispersion/CO2 ticles at an interface may limit foam destabilization by drainage of
flowed through a porous medium. The lifetime of the foam was lamellae, bubble coalescence, Ostwald ripening, and hole formation
observed to be more than 2 days as the foam stood at room temper- (Worthen et al. 2013). In addition, particle-stabilized CO2 foam dis-
ature. Mobility of the foam was calculated as 5.2 md/cp. played another advantage over CO2 because of its limited ability to
solvate surfactant tails (Dickson et al. 2004). However, particles at
Introduction the CO2/water interface can generate CO2/water foams without
CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is regarded as a practical tech- being solubilized by the CO2 phase (Dickson et al. 2004).
nique for improving oil production, but also for mitigating carbon Generation of foams with nanoparticles has been reported by
emissions through their capture and storage in deep geologic for- different researchers. Binks and Horozov (2005) reported stabili-
mations. Although the characteristics of dense CO2 are favorable zation of air/water foams with fumed silica nanoparticles. Par-
for removing oil from reservoir rock, viscous fingering, gravity ticles with 32% residual SiOH groups on the surface created the
override, and reservoir heterogeneity have long been recognized largest air/water-foam volume. Espinoza et al. (2010) generated
as the major problems in CO2 flooding. Use of CO2 foam as a so- stable CO2 foams in beadpacks with 5-nm silica nanoparticles.
lution to gas fingering for improvement of oil recovery has been Foam stability and normalized mixture viscosity have been
investigated for more than 3 decades. The idea of using foam for assessed for a range of values of nanoparticle concentration, water
reducing the gaseous-phase mobility was first introduced by Bond salinity, ratio of CO2/water-flow rates, and temperature. Aroonsri
and Holbrook (1958). The first research on the mechanisms of the et al. (2013) studied nanosilica-stabilized CO2-foam generation in
foam-drive process was conducted by Fried (1961). Fried (1961) Boise and Berea sandstone cores, investigating threshold shear
reported a sharp pressure drop across the foam band and reduced rates for foam generation in matrix and in fracture. Our laboratory
gas mobility through porous media. Since then, the mechanisms has also found that stable CO2 foam was generated with commer-
of foam flow through porous media in CO2 flooding have been cially available silica nanoparticles both in bead packs and sand-
studied extensively (Lee and Heller 1988; Wellington and Vinegar stone cores (Mo et al. 2012; Yu et al. 2012). Foam mobility and
1988; Chang and Grigg 1999). stability were investigated with different factors such as CO2/
Research results have demonstrated that surfactant-induced CO2 water-phase ratio, particle concentration, and injection-flow rate.
foam is an effective method for mobility control in CO2-foam flood- It was also observed that the foam mobility decreased with
ing. Traditionally, surfactants have been designed as the proper increasing foam quality from 20 to 60% and then increased as the
hydrophilic/CO2-philic balance so the molecules can be adsorbed at foam quality increased from 60 to 80%. A small amount of CO2
the CO2/brine interface (Johnston and da Rocha 2009). However, a foam was observed as the nanosilica concentration was 100 ppm.
challenge to surfactant design for CO2/brine is that the low polariz- However, to generate stable and large volume CO2 foam, the par-
ability/volume of CO2 results in weak solvation of the surfactant ticle concentration in the mixture was 5,000 ppm (Mo et al. 2012).
Although the effects of different factors on nanoparticle-stabi-
lized CO2 foam and foam performance on mobility control have
Copyright V
C 2017 Society of Petroleum Engineers
been investigated, the harsh conditions of reservoir formations,
This paper (SPE 179628) was accepted for presentation at the SPE Improved Oil Recovery such as high salinity and high temperature, require more compre-
Conference, Tulsa, 11–13 April 2016, and revised for publication. Original manuscript
received for review 17 May 2016. Revised manuscript received for review 28 September
hensive studies on nanoparticle-stabilized CO2 foam and foam
2016. Paper peer approved 23 November 2016. performance under those conditions. The objective of this study

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Silica SiO2 93.13% procedure is described in Yu et al. (2012). Briefly, two Isco syringe
pumps (Model 260D) were used to inject nanosilica dispersion and
Alumina Al2O3 3.86% high-pressure CO2 into the core sample. Two floating-piston accu-
Ferric oxide Fe2O3 0.11% mulators were used to reserve nanosilica dispersion and supercriti-
cal CO2, respectively. Three TEMCo backpressure regulators
Ferrous oxide FeO 0.54% were used to maintain the required operation pressure. The
injected CO2 and nanosilica dispersion were mixed in the core
Table 1—Mineral composition of the core.
sample, supplying a strong shearing energy and forcing the nano-
silica to adsorb to the interface between CO2 and water. Pressure
was to understand the effect of brine salinity on nanoparticle-sta-
drop along the core was measured with a Honeywell 3000 differ-
bilized CO2-foam generation, foam stability, and foam-flow
ential-pressure transducer connected to a Daq56 data-acquisition
behavior in a porous medium. In this paper, the investigation of
system, which recorded the pressure change with time. The entire
the effects of different ions (monovalent ions, bivalent ions, and
apparatus, except for syringe pumps, was placed in an air bath to
multi ions) on nanosilica-stabilized CO2-foam generation, foam
maintain a constant temperature throughout the experiment.
mobility, and stability are described. CO2 foam was generated by
Foam generation and mobility measurement were conducted at
coinjection of CO2/nanosilica dispersion (CO2/nanosilica
25 C and 1,500 psi. The total injection rate (CO2 and nanosilica
dispersion ¼ 1:1) into a Berea-sandstone core under 1,500 psi at
dispersion) was 800 cm3/hr with the phase ratio of CO2/nanosilica
room temperature. The CO2-foam texture and foam stability were
dispersion ¼ 1:1. Each foam experiment lasted until a steady-state
observed from an in-line observation sapphire cell. Pressure drop
pressure drop was achieved. Table 3 summarizes the experimen-
across the core was measured to estimate foam mobility.
tal conditions for all the tests in this study.

Characterization. Foam Mobility. The foam mobility in this
Materials. Silica nanoparticles were obtained from AkzoNobel study is defined as the total mobility of CO2/nanosilica dispersion.
Pulp and Performance Chemicals as an aqueous dispersion, which The mobility can be evaluated from Eq. 1:
was diluted with brine to 5,000 ppm. Particle size was measured
in the range of 17–20 nm. Berea-sandstone-core samples were k ¼ ðq=AÞ=ðDp=LÞ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ð1Þ
purchased from Cleveland Quarries. Tables 1 and 2 show the
composition and the properties of the core, respectively. where q is the flow rate, A the cross area of the core, Dp is the
pressure drop along the core, and L is the length of the core.
Experiment Devices. The apparatus for generating nanoparticle- Nanosilica-Particle-Size Measurement. Nanosilica-particle-
stabilized supercritical CO2 foam is shown in Fig. 1. The detailed size distribution was characterized with a dynamic-light-

Initial Brine
Diameter Permeability
Core Length (cm) (cm) Porosity (md) PV (cm )
Sandstone 1 11.56 5.08 19.5% 203 45.6
Sandstone 2 11.53 5.08 19.3% 200 45.1
Sandstone 3 12.4 5.08 19.1% 192 48.0

Table 2—Core properties.

Air bath


3 6
4 11

2 5

Fig. 1—Schematic of CO2-foam generation and mobility-test setup: (1) Isco pump; (2) three-way valve; (3) brine/nanoparticles ac-
cumulator; (4) CO2 accumulator; (5) backpressure regulator; (6) in-line filter (0.5 lm); (7) sandstone core; (8) Honeywell pressure
transducer; (9) data-acquisition system; (10) sapphire tube; (11) effluent accumulator.

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Pressure Drop
Core Length (cm) (psi) Mobility (md/cp)
NaCl concentration (%) 1 11.56 140 13.1
5 11.56 288 6.4
10 11.56 700 2.6
CaCl2 concentration (%) 0.1 11.53 93 19.7
0.3 11.53 117 15.7
0.5 11.53 185 9.9
1.0 11.53 380 4.8
Temperature (°C) 25 12.40 375 5.3
40 12.40 273 7.2
65 12.40 240 8.2

Table 3—Experimental conditions of CO2-foam generation with nanosilica as stabilizer.

scattering particle-size analyzer from Microtrac Zetatrac (Model 9-month lifetime for nanosilica-stabilized N2 foam. Worthen et al.
NPA 152-31A). To test the ion-concentration effect on nanosil- (2013) and Binks and Horozov (2005) reported long-term stable
ica-size distribution, nanosilica dispersion was first diluted with CO2/air foams generated by nanoparticles. By comparing the CO2
different concentrations of NaCl or CaCl2 solution. The mixture foam generated with nanosilica and surfactants, Adkins et al.
was stirred for approximately 5 minutes, and then the silica-parti- (2007) observed that no coalescence of water drops occurred over
cle size was measured. After the measurement, the mixture was many hours, even days, when silica nanoparticles were used.
left standing at room temperature for 24 hours and the particle However, coalescence of water drops has been observed for sur-
size was measured again. The measurement was completed if no factant-stabilized CO2 foam within 3 to 4 hours at 15 MPa stabi-
particle size change was observed in 24 hours. lized by 1 wt% of poly(dimethylsiloxane)-b-poly(acrylic acid)
with 50% CO2 by weight.
Fig. 3 shows the pressure drop along the core when CO2 and
Results and Discussion 5,000 ppm nanosilica dispersion (dispersed in 1.0% of NaCl) were
Effect of Monovalent Ions on Nanosilica-Stabilized CO2 injected into the core. For each of the coreflooding tests, the core
Foam. Fig. 2 shows CO2-foam texture and stability from the was first flushed with brine to determine the permeability. Next,
online observation cell as 1.0% NaCl was added in the nanosilica CO2/nanosilica-dispersion injection began into the core. The pres-
dispersion. Large volume of CO2 foams with small bubble size sure drop started to increase as CO2/nanosilica dispersion was
were formed as the CO2 and nanosilica dispersion flowed through injected into the core, indicating CO2 foam generated in the core.
the core. The calculated share rate in the core was 350.7 1/sec- After approximately 10 pore volumes (PV) of CO2/nanosilica dis-
onds, which is similar to the reported share rate by Aroonsri et al. persion were injected into the core, the pressure drop along the
(2013) to generate stable CO2 foam. The generated CO2 foam, af- core leveled off at 139.6 psi, indicating that steady state was
ter standing at room temperature and 1,500 psi, displayed very- obtained. CO2-foam mobility at this condition was estimated as
good stability. A slight collapse was observed after 24 hours. Half 13.1 md/cp.
of the foams collapsed after standing at room temperature for 5 The effect of NaCl concentration on nanosilica-stabilized
days. All the foams disappeared after standing at room tempera- CO2-foam generation and foam stability is displayed in Fig. 4.
ture for 7 days. The long-term stability of nanoparticle-stabilized With the increased NaCl concentration in nanosilica dispersion
CO2 foam, as discussed previously, contributes to the high from 1.0 to 10%, more CO2 foam was generated and the foam-
adsorption energy of nanosilica particles at the CO2/brine inter- bubble size became smaller. The foam color also changed from
face. Similarly, Cervantes Martinez et al. (2008) also observed a grayish tan to milky white. More-uniform smaller bubbles were

(a) 0 hours (b) 0.5 (c) 24 (d) 48 (e) 72 (f) 96 (g) 120 (h) 144 (i) 168
hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours

Fig. 2—Images of CO2 foam and foam stability in 1.0% of NaCl.

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Pressure Drop (psi) 140







0 0 0.5 24 48 72 96 120 144 168

0 5 10 15 20 seconds hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours
Injection Volume (PV)
(a) 1.0% NaCl
Fig. 3—Pressure drop along the core during the coreflooding
test of CO2/nanosilica dispersed in 1.0% of NaCl.

generated with NaCl-concentration increase. Meanwhile, the sta-

bility of the foam also improved as NaCl concentration increased.
For example, all the generated CO2 foams collapsed after 7 days
when NaCl concentration in nanosilica dispersion was 1.0%; how-
ever, as NaCl concentration increased to 10.0%, less than one-
third the volume of CO2 foam collapsed after 7 days. Kostakis
et al. (2006) also observed that a threshold of NaCl concentration
existed as a low concentration of nanosilica was deployed to gen-
erate foams. The presence of a background electrolyte alters the
free energy of double-layer formation at the particle surface, as 0 0.5 24 48 72 96 120 144 168
well as at the air/water interface. These changes in turn are seconds hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours
reflected in the value of the contact angle and the tendency of the
particles to adsorb at the air/water interface (Kostakis et al. 2006). (b) 5.0% NaCl
Binks et al. (2007) reported that the contact angles increased with
increasing salt concentration in a nanosilica dispersion. They sug-
gested that the increase in the contact angle was caused by both
the influence of existing ions screening the repulsion between
neighboring charged silanol groups and the decrease in the thick-
ness of the repulsive hydration layer on silica being the structural
component (Churaev and Derjaguin 1985). The increase in the
particles’ hydrophobicity causes a higher adsorption energy at the
CO2/brine interface, leading to more-stable foam generation.
The effect of NaCl concentration on CO2-foam mobility is dis-
played in Fig. 5. As the NaCl concentration increased, more-sta-
ble CO2 foams were generated in the sandstone core, resulting in
0 0.5 24 48 72 96 120 144 168
a decrease in CO2/brine mobility. The CO2-foam mobility seconds hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours
decreased from 13.1 to 2.4 md/cp as NaCl concentration increased
from 1.0 to 10.0%. Similarly, Aroonsri et al. (2013) also observed (c) 10% NaCl
that the apparent viscosity of foam increased with the salinity of
the nanosilica dispersion. Further increase in NaCl concentration Fig. 4—CO2 foam and foam stability in different concentrations
caused aggregation of silica particles. For example, as the NaCl of NaCl.
concentration increased to 15%, the pressure drop along the core
was observed to continuously increase. The outlet fluids were col- core. After the test, the core was flushed with 2.0% brine and the
lected and particle concentrations were measured by inductively permeability of the core was observed to decrease to approxi-
coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy. The results indi- mately 70 md. These results implied that particle aggregration
cated that less than 80% of the nanosilica particles flowed out the and core plugging occurred as NaCl concentration increased to
15%. Fig. 6 shows the particle-size change with NaCl
Particle Size (nm)

Mobility (md/cp)

4 10

2 5

0 0
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 0 5 10 15 20 25
NaCl Concentration (%) NaCl Concentration (%)

Fig. 5—CO2-foam-mobility change with NaCl. Fig. 6—Silica-particle-size change with NaCl concentration.

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0 2 12 24 36 45 0 2 12 24 36 48 60 70
hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours

(a) (b)

0 2 24 48 72 96 116 0 2 24 48 72 96 120 144 168

hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours

(c) (d)

Fig. 7—CO2 foam and foam stability in different concentrations of CaCl2: (a) 1,000 ppm; (b) 3,000 ppm; (c) 5,000 ppm; and (d)
10,000 ppm.

concentration. The coreflooding results indicated that the core the double-layer formation at the particle surface and in turn
was plugged when NaCl concentration was more than 10%. increase particle hydrophobicity. However, the presence of biva-
lent ions displayed more-significant effects on CO2-foam genera-
tion compared with that of monovalent ions. CO2 foam was
Effect of Bivalent Ions on Nanosilica-Stabilized CO2 Foam.
generated as 1,000 ppm CaCl2 was added in nanosilica dispersion.
CaCl2 was used to study the effect of bivalent ions on CO2-foam When 1.0% CaCl2 was used, the generated CO2 foam displayed
generation and stability. Fig. 7 indicates the generated CO2 foam similar foam texture and foam stability as with 10% NaCl. On the
and foam stability in different concentrations of CaCl2. The other hand, the generated CO2 foam in 5,000 ppm CaCl2 dis-
results are similar to those in monovalent ions. As Ca2þ concen- played less stability compared with 1.0% NaCl (Figs. 4a and 7c),
tration increased from 1,000 to 10,000 ppm, the volume of the although both systems have similar ionic strength (0.14 mol/L for
generated CO2 foam increased. At the same time, the foam stabil- CaCl2 and 0.17 mol/L for NaCl). These results demonstrated that
ity also improved as Ca2þ concentration increased, which is simi- increased stabilization of CO2 foam by use of NaCl is not simply
lar to those in NaCl solutions. As discussed previously, the the result of increased screening of electrostatic repulsion between
presence of electrolyte ions in nanosilica dispersion may change the silica particles as a function of the ionic strength, but probably
a more-specific interaction between NaCl and the silica-particle
surface (Binks et al. 2007).
Fig. 8 shows the change in CO2-foam mobility with increase
in CaCl2 concentration. Foam mobility decreased from 19.7 to 4.8
20 md/cp as CaCl2 concentration increased from 1,000 to
Mobility (md/cp)

10,000 ppm.

Effect of Multiple Ions on Nanosilica-Stabilized CO2-Foam

Generation. A synthetic produced water, similar in composition
to that from the Permian Basin, was prepared to represent a mix-
5 ture of different ion sources. The composition of the produced
water is listed in Table 4 with TDS of 18,583 ppm. Fig. 9 shows
0 the CO2 foam in the synthetic produced water. As a comparison,
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2
Naþ concentration in the synthetic produced water was
CaCl2 Concentration (%) 6,622 ppm, which is between 1.0 and 5.0% NaCl, as shown in Fig.
4. However, the amount of CO2 foam generated in the synthetic
Fig. 8—CO2-foam-mobility change with CaCl2 concentration. produced water is obviously more than in both the 1.0 and 5.0%

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+ 2+ 2+ + – 2– –
mg/L Na Ca Mg K Cl SO 4 HCO3 TDS
Permian Basin 6622 179 33 53 8800 1225 1671 18 583

Table 4—The compositions of Permian Basin produced waters (Bond and Holbrook 1958).

temperatures of 25, 40, and 65 C. Fig. 11 shows the foam stability
under different temperatures. The results indicate that the foam
stability decreases as the temperature increases from 25 to 65 C.
For example, it takes more than 65 hours as all the foam collapses
under the temperature of 25 C, but 12 hours and 7 hours for the
temperatures of 40 and 65 C, respectively. It was known that the
foam stability was influenced by the coupling of coarsening and
drainage (Saint-Jalmes 2006). The foam becomes drier faster
when drainage rate increases, in which the foam stability
decreases. Kapetas et al. (2016) studied CO2 foam generated by a
surfactant under different temperatures and concluded that the
drainage rate increased with temperature. In addition, coarsening
increases the foam-bubble size and leads to foam collapse. Coars-
ening is accelerated at higher temperature because the foam films’
permeability to gas increases with increasing temperature (Faraj-
(a) 0 hours (b) 0.5 (c) 24 (d) 38 (e) 55 (f) 65 (g) 70 zadeh et al. 2009). Fig. 12 shows the results of foam mobility
hours hours hours hours hours hours under different temperatures. The mobility increases from 5.2 to
8.2 md/cp as temperature increases from 25 to 65 C. The magni-
Fig. 9—CO2 foam and foam stability in synthetic produced tude of the increase between the tests performed at 25 and 65 C is
water. 57.7%. In addition, the results of Fig. 12 indicate that as the tem-
perature increases from 25 to 40 C, the foam mobility increases
more quickly than that of the temperature from 40 to 65 C. By
NaCl concentrations. This could be the synergistic effect of multi-
comparing with Fig. 11, the foam stability also presents a similar
ple ions on CO2 foam generation. In the presence of multiple
trend, in which the foam-stability change is more pronounced in
ions, the double layer at the nanosilica surface was further
the range of 25 to 40 C than 40 to 65 C. Similar results were also
squeezed and the particles became more hydrophobic. On the
reported by Sharma et al. (1985). They found that the foam half-
other hand, because valences are different for different ions,
life changed strikingly in the temperature range of 20 to 40 C and
which results in their different capabilities for changing the dou-
exhibited small changes between 40 and 80 C.
ble-layer and particle hydrophobicity, the generated CO2 foam in
The test results of nanosilica-stabilized CO2 foam under differ-
synthetic produced water displayed less stability compared with
ent ions and temperatures indicated that nanosilica was a promis-
both the 1.0% and the 5.0% NaCl concentrations. Fig. 10 shows
ing alternative to stabilize CO2 foam in CO2 EOR. However, the
the pressure drop along the core during the coreflooding test. The
results also demonstrated that particle aggregation could occur
results are similar to the previous results. The core was first
under high-salinity brine, such as the 15% NaCl solution in this
flushed with 3.0 PV of brine and then flooded with CO2/brine and
study. The foam stability decreased as the temperature increased.
nanosilica dispersion (50:50). The pressure drop remained stable
All these results imply that more experimental tests may need to
at 375.3 psi as 16.3 PV of CO2/brine and nanosilica dispersion
be performed before the field application of this technology. To
were injected. The foam mobility in the synthetic produced water
evaluate the field performance of the nanosilica as the stabilizing
is calculated as 5.2 md/cp.
agent, the stability of the particles under reservoir conditions
needs to be determined. Coreflooding tests to evaluate the per-
Effect of Temperature on Nanosilica-Stabilized CO2 Foam. formance of nanosilica-stabilized CO2 foam under the same reser-
Temperature is a critical reservoir parameter that effects the foam voir conditions, such as brine composition, temperature, and
performance in CO2 EOR. The effect of temperature on nanosil- operation pressure, should be performed. Nanosilica-stabilized
ica-stabilized CO2-foam generation, foam stability, and foam- CO2-foam stability in the presence of crude oil and the perform-
flow behavior was investigated. The tests were started with coin- ance of the foam for residual oil recovery need to be determined
jection of CO2 and 5,000 ppm nanosilica dispersion at different before the field application.


Pressure Drop (psi)





0 50 100 150 200 250
Injection Volume (PV)

Fig. 10—Pressure drop along the core during the coreflooding test with CO2/synthetic produced water and nanosilica dispersion.

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(a) 25°C (b) 40°C (c) 65°C

0 24 50 65 70 0 4 8 11 12 0 2 4 6 7
hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours hours

Fig. 11—CO2 foam and foam stability under different temperatures.

10 aid of Liz Bustamante for her assistance in editing this

Mobility (md/cp)

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0 Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition,
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1. CO2 foam was generated when CO2 and NaCl solution with
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under pressure of 1,500 psi. The amount of CO2 foam and
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foam stability increased with the increase of NaCl concentra-
Cervantes Martinez, A., Rio, R., Delon, G. et al. 2008. On the Origin of
tion from 1.0 to 10%. However, further increase in NaCl con-
the Remarkable Stability of Aqueous Foams Stabilised by Nanopar-
centration to 15% resulted in nanosilica-particle aggregation
ticles: Link with Microscopic Surface Properties. Soft Matter 4 (7):
and core plugging.
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Chang, S.-H. and Grigg, R. B. 1999. Effects of Foam Quality and Flow
NaCl concentration increased from 1.0 to 10.0%.
Rate on CO2-Foam Behavior at Reservoir Temperature and Pressure.
3. Bivalent ions such as Ca2þ displayed more-significant effects
SPE Res Eval & Eng 2 (3): 248–254. SPE-56856-PA. http://
on CO2-foam generation and stability. CO2 foam was gener-
ated as 1,000 ppm CaCl2 was used. More CO2 foams were gen-
Churaev, N.V. and Derjaguin, B. V. 1985. Inclusion of Structural Forces
erated and the foam became more stable as CaCl2
in the Theory of Stability of Colloids and Films. J. Colloid Interf.
concentration increased from 1,000 to 10,000 ppm.
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(TDS ¼ 18,583 ppm). The different ions present displayed syn-
Dickson, J. L., Binks, B. P., and Johnston, K. P. 2004. Stabilization of Car-
ergistic effects on CO2-foam generation. However, the stability
bon Dioxide-in-Water Emulsions with Silica Nanoparticles. Langmuir
of the generated CO2 foam decreased in the synthetic produced
20 (19): 7976–7983. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/la0488102.
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ble-layer and surface properties.
Nanoparticles. Presented at the SPE European Formation Damage
5. The stability of the CO2 foam decreased as temperature
Conference and Exhibition, Budapest, Hungary, 3–5 June. SPE-
increased from 25 to 65 C. The foam mobility increased with
174254-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/174254-MS.
temperature increase from 25 to 65 C.
Espinoza, D. A., Caldelas, F. M., Johnston, K. P. et al. 2010. Nanopar-
ticle-Stabilized Supercritical CO2 Foams for Potential Mobility Con-
Acknowledgements trol Applications. Presented at the SPE Improved Oil Recovery
AkzoNobel Pulp and Performance Chemicals generously pro- Symposium, Tulsa, 24–28 April. SPE-129925-MS. http://dx.doi.org/
vided samples of silica nanoparticles. The authors appreciate the 10.2118/129925-MS.

2017 SPE Journal 7

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J179628 DOI: 10.2118/179628-PA Date: 9-February-17 Stage: Page: 8 Total Pages: 8

Farajzadeh, R., Krastev, R., and Zitha, P. L. J. 2009. Gas Permeability of Worthen, A. J., Bryant, S. L., Huh, C. et al. 2013. Carbon Dioxide-in-
Foam Films Stabilized by an a-Olefin Sulfonate Surfactant. Langmuir Water Foams Stabilized With Nanoparticles and Surfactant Acting in
25 (5): 2881–2886. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/la803599z. Synergy. AIChE J. 59 (9): 3490–3501. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/
Fried, A. N. 1961. Foam Drive Process for Increasing the Recovery of aic.14124.
Oil. Report RI-5866, US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, Yu, J., An, C., Mo, D. et al. 2012. Foam Mobility Control for Nanopar-
Washington, DC. ticle-Stabilized Supercritical CO2 Foam. Presented at the SPE
Johnston, K. P. and da Rocha, S. R. P. 2009. Colloids in Supercritical Flu- Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa, 14–18 April. SPE-
ids Over the Last 20 Years and Future Directions. J. Supercrit. Fluid. 153336-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/153336-MS.
47 (3): 523–530. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.supflu.2008.10.024.
Kapetas, L., Vincent Bonnieu, S., Danelis, S. et al. 2016. Effect of Tem- Jingshan San is a technologist at Solvay in Bristol, Pennsylvania.
perature on Foam Flow in Porous Media. J. Ind. Eng. Chem. 36 (25 His research focuses on nanoparticle-stabilized CO2-foam
April): 229–237. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jiec.2016.02.001. generation and foam-flow behavior in porous media and
Kostakis, T., Ettelaie, R., and Murray, B. S. 2006. Effect of High Salt Con- proppant-suspension preparation and evaluation. San is a
member of SPE. He holds a master’s degree in petroleum engi-
centrations on the Stabilization of Bubbles by Silica Particles. Lang-
neering from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and
muir 22 (3): 1273–1280. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/la052193f. Technology.
Lee, H. and Heller, J. 1988. Carbon Dioxide—Foam Mobility Measure-
ments at High Pressure. In Surfactant-Based Mobility Control, ed. D. Sai Wang is a PhD-degree candidate in the Petroleum Engi-
H. Smith, Vol. 373, Chap. 19, 375–386. Washington, DC: American neering Department at the University of North Dakota. His
research interests include CO2 foam for EOR and CO2 monitor-
Chemical Society.
ing in CO2 storage. Wang has authored or coauthored more
Mo, D., Yu, J., Liu, N. et al. 2012. Study of the Effect of Different Factors than 10 technical papers. He is a member of SPE. Wang holds
on Nanoparticle-Stablized CO2 Foam for Mobility Control. Presented a master’s degree in petroleum engineering from the New
at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
Texas, 8–10 October. SPE-159282-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/
Jianjia Yu is a research scientist in the Petroleum Recovery
Research Center at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and
Saint-Jalmes, A. 2006. Physical Chemistry in Foam Drainage and Coars- Technology. His research interests include CO2-foam EOR,
ening. Soft Matter 2 (10): 836–849. http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/ CO2 capture, and produced-water remediation. Yu has auth-
B606780H. ored or coauthored more than 35 technical papers and holds
Sharma, M. K., Shah, D. O., and Brigham, W. E. 1985. The Influence of one US patent. He is a member of SPE. Yu holds a PhD degree
Temperature on Surface and Microscopic Properties of Surfactant Sol- in petroleum engineering from the New Mexico Institute of
utions in Relation to Fluid Displacement Efficiency in Porous Media. Mining and Technology.
AIChE J. 31 (2): 222–228. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aic.690310208. Ning Liu is an assistant professor in the Petroleum Engineering
Singh, R. and Mohanty, K. K. 2014. Foams Stabilized by In-Situ Surface- Department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Previ-
Activated Nanoparticles in Bulk and Porous Media. Presented at the ously, he worked as a research scientist in the Petroleum Re-
SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Amsterdam, 27–29 covery Research Center at the New Mexico Institute of Mining
October. SPE-170942-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/170942-MS. and Technology. Liu’s research interests include CO2-foam
Wellington, S. L. and Vinegar, H. J. 1988. Surfactant-Induced Mobility EOR, CO2 monitoring in CO2 storage, and produced-water
Control for Carbon Dioxide Studied with Computerized Tomography. remediation. He has authored or coauthored more than 27
peer-reviewed papers. Liu is a member of SPE. He holds a PhD
In Surfactant-Based Mobility Control, ed. D. H. Smith, Vol. 373,
degree in materials engineering from the New Mexico Institute
Chap. 17, 344–358. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society. of Mining and Technology.
Worthen, A., Bagaria, H., Chen, Y. et al. 2012. Nanoparticle Stabilized
Carbon Dioxide in Water Foams for Enhanced Oil Recovery. Pre- Robert Lee is a professor emeritus at the New Mexico Institute
sented at the SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa, 14–18 of Mining and Technology. His research interests include natu-
ral gas, produced water, and CO2 EOR. Lee has authored or
April. SPE-154285-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/154285-MS.
coauthored more than 200 technical papers. He is a member
Worthen, A., Taghavy, A., Aroonsri, A. et al. 2015. Multi-Scale Evalua- of SPE. Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from
tion of Nanoparticle-Stabilized CO2-in-Water Foams: From the Chung-Yuan Christian College, Taiwan; a master’s degree in
Benchtop to the Field. Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Confer- chemical engineering from Oregon State University; and a
ence and Exhibition, Houston, 28–30 September. SPE-175065-MS. PhD degree in chemical engineering from the University of
http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/175065-MS. Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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