The project is a research project for increased (IOR) and new tracer technology using nanofluids, i.e. how nanoparticles can affect droplets or stabilize emulsions, and how this can be used for IOR and tracer technology. In this project, laboratory models have partly been combined with numerical modeling together with external partners, and the project has aimed to propose nanofluid technology for real reservoir situations.
PhD and MSc student teaching and integrated national and international expert collaboration, with Brazil and France are central to the project. The project brings together research groups from several disciplines: Materials physics and chemistry, fluid mechanics, nanofluidics, as well as petroleum technology and environmental geophysics. In this way, experts in materials science will collaborate with experts in oil extraction and tracer technology to design new methods for IOR and tracer technology.
Among the particles that have been studied, there has been a special focus on clay nanoparticles, hydrophilic silica nanoparticles and magnetic nanoparticles. Both commercially available particles and synthetic particles have been studied.
The project (2018-23) focuses on fundamental physical phenomena of designed nanofluids and their flow properties in microfluidic laboratory setups. A focus has been the dynamics of nano-particle self-organization on drop surfaces, and how this can contribute to applications related to nanoparticles, droplets and emulsions in microchannels or microporous media.
In the period 2018-21, the 2 PhD students working in the project have carried out literature studies and experimental studies within 2 focused themes:
(i) protected transport and encapsulation of oil droplets, bubbles, and nanoparticles for tracer purposes (targeted injection and activation of tracer particles deep into reservoirs). This has mainly been a collaborative activity between NTNU and IFE. Included in this work are studies of delamination of nano-silicates, with the aim of encapsulating tracer particles in delaminated nano-silicates.
(ii) initial studies started on microcapsules for blocking "easy water pathways" in oil reservoir sites, so that oil that was not produced at the first water injection can produce at the next injection. This is essentially a collaborative activity between NTNU and NORCE-Stavanger. Microcapsules have been produced during 2021, and the PhD students have included magnetic nanoparticles in the capsule materials so that the capsules' mechanical properties are studied by varying an external magnetic field. Related to this, at NORCE a master's student has studied composites of polymers and nanosilicates during 2020-21.
(iii) Covid-19 forced changes in the parts of the project that were directly linked to planned international activities with partners in France and Brazil. This has meant that the project in 2021 and 2022 has taken a direction more towards the nanosilicate-related studies, and especially in connection with CO2 in reservoirs, and CO2-related IOR.
The project is an investigation into Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) and novel tracer technology using nanofluids, i.e. how nanoparticles can stabilize or influence drops, and how this can be used for IOR and tracer technology. In this project, laboratory model will be combined with numerical modeling, and the project aims to suggest nanofluid technology for real reservoir situations.
Among the particles to be studied, attention will be given to low-cost clay nano-particles and to hydrophilic silica nano-particles. Particle functioanalization and also particle synthesis will be dome withing the project, in addition to studies of commercially available particles.
The project (2018-21) will focus on basic physical phenomena of designed nanofluids and their flow behaviors in microporous laboratory setups. A focus will also be on the dynamics of nano-particle self-organization at drop interfaces, and how this can contribute to IOR. We will investigate real IOR applications based on the fundamental knowledge collected during the the project.
Graduate student training and integrated national and international expert collaborations, with Brazil, and France are at the core of the project. The project brings together research groups from several disciplines: Materials physics and chemistry, mechanical engineering, nanofluidics, as well as petroleum engineering and environmental geophysics. Thus experts in materials science will work together with experts in oil recovery and tracer technology in order to design new advanced nano-fluids.