Effect of SiO2 on the foamability, thermal stability and interfacial tension of a novel nano-fluid hybrid surfactant

Mohammad Hamza, Chandra Sinnathambi, Zulkifli Merican, Hassan Soleimani, Karl Dunbar Stephen

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In foam assisted water alternating gas (FAWAG) method, thermal stability,
foamability and interfacial effect of foaming agents (surfactants) are
important properties governing the success of oil recovery. The effect of high
reservoir temperature is detrimental to these properties, which becomes a
great challenge for the applications of surfactants in enhanced oil recovery
(EOR). Silica nano-fluid (SiO2), which is a recently employed technology, has
been utilized to improve the rheology, stability and interfacial properties of
surfactants. This study is aimed at investigating the effect of SiO2 in
improving the thermal stability, relative foamability and interfacial (IFT)
effect of industrial based surfactant (IBS). Design Expert Software (DOE)
using central composite design (CCD) at five levels (-1.68 to +1.68) was
employed in the experimental design. The chemical interaction between the
SiO2 and IBS in the novel nano-fluid hybrid surfactant (SiO2-IBS) had been
successfully established using different spectroscopic instruments (FTIR,
XRD, FESEM etc.). Furthermore, under the optimum conditions established,
SiO2 had significant effects on the relative foamability and thermal stability of
the hybrid material (SiO2-IBS) at 25-110 oC, and their synergistic effect had
been quantified in the multivariate models (cubic). However, the IFT result
indicated that presence of the SiO2 in the hybrid had reduced the IFT
drastically from 120.3 ± 9.8 mN/m to 10.6 ± 6.8 mN/m. Consequently, the
novel SiO2-IBS nano hybrid surfactant could be a suitable flooding agent in
the high temperature reservoirs for application in FAWAG method.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-122
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced and Applied Sciences
Issue number1
Early online date1 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • Enhanced oil recovery
  • Composite material
  • Nanoparticles
  • Hybrid


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