Partition-coefficient relations for improved equation-of-state description of microemulsion-phase behavior

V. A. Torrealba, Russell Taylor Johns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Surfactant-mediated enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) techniques, such as surfactant/polymer (SP) flooding, have received increased attention because of their ability to reduce capillary forces at the pore-scale to ultralow values and mobilize trapped oil. Recently, there have been increased efforts in microemulsion-phase-behavior modeling capabilities by relying on the hydrophilic/lipophilic-difference (HLD) measure for surfactant-affinity quantification. One common assumption of most microemulsion-phase-behavior models is the assumption of pure excess phases, which states that the surfactant component is only present in the microemulsion phase. This assumption can lead to significant errors for some surfactant systems, especially when applied to chemical simulations in which discontinuities may arise. The main novelty of this paper is to allow for surfactant partitioning into both the water and oil excess phases by use of a simple approach, and then relate relevant surfactant-partitioning coefficients (i.e., K-values) to HLD. Surfactant screening that is based on surfactant-structure parameters is also considered based on estimated K-values. Key dimensionless groups are identified as a function of activity coefficients, which allow for a simplified description of the surfactant-partition coefficients. These surfactant-partition coefficients are combined with the chemical-potentials (CP) equation-of-state (EoS) model to describe and predict the phase behavior when the excess phases are not pure. Further, the developed surfactant-partitioning model can be used in other microemulsion-phase-behavior models to allow for impure excess phases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1899-1908
Number of pages10
JournalSPE Journal
Volume23
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

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Microemulsions
Phase behavior
Equations of state
partition coefficient
equation of state
surfactant
Surface active agents
partitioning
activity coefficient
oil
enhanced oil recovery
Chemical potential
Activity coefficients
discontinuity
Screening
flooding
polymer

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

Cite this

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title = "Partition-coefficient relations for improved equation-of-state description of microemulsion-phase behavior",
abstract = "Surfactant-mediated enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) techniques, such as surfactant/polymer (SP) flooding, have received increased attention because of their ability to reduce capillary forces at the pore-scale to ultralow values and mobilize trapped oil. Recently, there have been increased efforts in microemulsion-phase-behavior modeling capabilities by relying on the hydrophilic/lipophilic-difference (HLD) measure for surfactant-affinity quantification. One common assumption of most microemulsion-phase-behavior models is the assumption of pure excess phases, which states that the surfactant component is only present in the microemulsion phase. This assumption can lead to significant errors for some surfactant systems, especially when applied to chemical simulations in which discontinuities may arise. The main novelty of this paper is to allow for surfactant partitioning into both the water and oil excess phases by use of a simple approach, and then relate relevant surfactant-partitioning coefficients (i.e., K-values) to HLD. Surfactant screening that is based on surfactant-structure parameters is also considered based on estimated K-values. Key dimensionless groups are identified as a function of activity coefficients, which allow for a simplified description of the surfactant-partition coefficients. These surfactant-partition coefficients are combined with the chemical-potentials (CP) equation-of-state (EoS) model to describe and predict the phase behavior when the excess phases are not pure. Further, the developed surfactant-partitioning model can be used in other microemulsion-phase-behavior models to allow for impure excess phases.",
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Partition-coefficient relations for improved equation-of-state description of microemulsion-phase behavior. / Torrealba, V. A.; Johns, Russell Taylor.

In: SPE Journal, Vol. 23, No. 5, 01.10.2018, p. 1899-1908.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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