Novel Concept of Surfactant Design for Subsurface CO2 Processes

Quoc P. Nguyen, Gary A. Pope

This funded project is aimed at development of novel surfactants that improve the conformance of CO2 in subsurface processes such as CO2 enhanced oil recovery and/or sequestration.

 The molecular design of these novel surfactants is based on two principal pore-scale processes: foaming and emulsification. Particularly, surfactants can be efficiently delivered through the CO2 phase to some areas in the formation where these processes are desired (e.g. normally swept zone). This novel concept has the potential to reduce significantly the chemical cost for CO2 subsurface processes. In addition, the performance of the surfactants is partially controlled by the oil phase such that foaming/emulsification of CO2 does not impair the efficiency of the miscible displacement of oil by CO2.