Characterization of Functionalized Nanoparticle Transport in Flow Through Permeable Media

Quoc P. Nguyen, Larry W. Lake, and Caetano R. Miranda (Kyoto University)

Funding source: Advanced Energy Consortium (AEC)

Funding amount: $592,000 for the period of March 2009 - Sept. 2012

Nanoparticles offer a way of controlling oil recovery processes that is unmatched by any current or previous technology. They also offer a means of interrogating small-scale physics that is also unparalleled by prior work.

 Characterization of Functionalized Nanoparticle Transport in Flow Through Permeable MediaIn the recovery of hydrocarbon, the success of nanoparticles depends on the ability to put them in the right place in a reservoir and to be sure that they transport effectively. Emplacement and transport of nanoparticles through permeable media are the subject of this work. The hypothesis is that nanoparticles can be made to flow through permeable media and that these flows can improve oil recovery. The testing step involves making fundamental measurements on the stability of nanoparticle dispersions, many treated to alter the wetting state of phases, the effect of these dispersions have on conventional measurements of the wetting state of fluids with polished surfaces, and finally the transport of dispersions through permeable media. The testing part lies in a concurrent theoretical program that ranges in scale from first principles and molecular dynamic simulation, to modeling of surface potentials, to larger-scale modeling of flow through permeable cores.