Functional compounds of crude oil during low salinity water injection

Mohammad Fattahi Mehraban*, Seyed Amir Farzaneh, Mehran Sohrabi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Due to the intrinsic complexity of crude oil, the advanced chemical compositional analysis would be required to detect the crucial interactions that may take place between water and crude oil during low salinity water injection (LSWI). In this study, a series of analytical techniques were combined to discover the functional compounds of crude oil contributing to low salinity water effect (LSE) during LSWI. The Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) analysis and Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectroscopy (FT-ICR MS) were deployed to characterise the oil/water interface of a chosen crude oil with a high potency toward formation of water microdispersion. Using the negative and positive electrospray ionisation modes (−ESI and +ESI, respectively), acidic compounds with aliphatic nature and asphaltene molecules were determined to be the most functional compounds at the interface promoting the spontaneous formation of water-in-oil microdispersion. These species are key to designing any waterflood operation in oil reservoirs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119144
Early online date16 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • Enhanced oil recovery
  • Interface
  • Low salinity water
  • Mass spectroscopy
  • Water microdispersion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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