Synthesize of a Temperature-Sensitive Microgel for Water Management Applications
Volume Title: 1
1Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Research Center of Iran, Tehran
2Petroleum Engineering Department, Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Research Center of Iran, 14335-186, ‎Tehran, Iran
3The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK73019, USA
This paper examines swelling behavior, thermal stability, and microstructure features of a temperature-sensitive microgel (TSMG) developed for water management in IOR applications. Microgels have been successfully applied for water management of mature waterflooded reservoirs. The cross-linked polymer microgels are basically water-dispersible particles ranging from submicron-to-micron sizes. Delayed swelling of the microgels at the beginning of the operation and before getting exposed into the reservoir rock to avoid formation of cake filter and, thus, facilitate deeper reservoir penetration are often considered essential for the success of microgel injection process.
Thus, we present a new microgel formulation with controllable temperature sensitivity to achieve improved injectivity. Experiments were carried out to examine the effect of the temperature in different solutions on the swelling behavior of microgels. Moreover, the structure and thermal stability of microgels were investigated using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) tests. Our microgel exhibits an excellent swelling behavior.
Our results show successful swelling of TSMG at 90°C in saline water with 10% wt NaCl (typical reservoir conditions), a great potential for water management applications. Moreover, TSMG morphology and three-dimensional structure were investigated; the results revealed that a homogeneous network with a high swelling ratio was achieved through decomposition of the labile cross-linker, an indication of a strong structure. In addition, due to the thermal stability of the TSMG, it is sufficiently resilient that can be used in the injection operations and water production management.