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Stable Nanoparticles for High Salinity Applications

H. Zhu, S.S. Lee, V.L. Colvin
Rice University, US

Keywords: nanoparticles, amphiphilic copolymer, coating, high salinity


In recent years, nanotechnology has been introduced in the oil and gas industry for many potential applications such as enhanced oil recovery, subsurface sensing and mapping. Nanoparticle mobility is one of the major challenges for any innovation that relies on the introduction of functional particles into the downhole environment. Therefore, effective surface coating strategy is critical to produce highly stable and mobile nanoparticles under extremely high saline conditions. The focus of this work is to synthesize a novel amphiphilic copolymer and then modify hydrophobic nanoparticles to produce stable nanoparticles for high salinity applications. A novel amphiphilic copolymer-poly (2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid-co-lauryl acrylate) was synthesized using UV polymerization and then successfully used to coat hydrophobic iron oxide nanoparticles. The resulted nanoparticles are proved to be stable under high saline conditions, especially solution containing multivalent metal ions, for at least three months. These nanoparticles show great potential for high salinity applications.
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