Investigation of a new application for cellulose nanocrystals: a study of the enhanced oil recovery potential by use of a green additive
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCellulose. 2018, 25 (4), 2289-2301. 10.1007/s10570-018-1715-5
Cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) were investigated for use in a potential new application, enhanced oil recovery. Core flooding experiments were performed on outcrop sandstone cores using CNC particles dispersed in low salinity brine (CNC–LS). Core flooding experiments performed on fully water-saturated cores confirm that a majority of viscosity-generating CNC particles successfully traverse the cores at temperature conditions ranging from 60 to 120 °C. Oil recovery tests performed on crude oil saturated sandstone cores at 60 and 90 °C show that when CNC–LS is applied in tertiary mode, ultimate oil recovery increases. During tertiary CNC–LS injection, CNC particles exacerbate differential pressure fluctuations, a phenomenon attributable to log jamming in pore throats, causing remobilisation of oil trapped within pore space regions. Results from the current work indicate that CNC particles dispersed in low saline brine remain promising for implementation in enhanced oil recovery operations.