Effect of Added Surfactants on the Dynamic Interfacial Tension Behaviour of Alkaline/Diluted Heavy Crude Oil System

Abstract : This study has been undertaken to get a better understanding of the interactions between Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) surfactants used in chemical flooding and in situ surfactants present in an heavy oil. We report an experimental study of dynamic Interfacial Tension (IFT) behaviour of diluted heavy oil/surfactant enhanced-alkaline systems. The dynamic IFT was measured using pendant drop and spinning drop tensiometers. The dynamic IFT between diluted heavy oil and alkaline solution (pH 11) with no added surfactant increased sharply with time, which was attributed to the transfer of the in situ surfactant (produced by saponification of the acids groups present in the crude oil) across the oil/water interface. The addition of Sodium Dodecyl Benzene Sulfonate (SDBS) above the Critical Micellar Concentration (CMC ~ 0.002%), changed completely the dynamic IFT behaviour of the diluted heavy oil as the IFT strongly decreased and finally reached a plateau, of about 1.5× 10-3 mN/m at a concentration of only 0.02%. We attributed the efficiency of SDBS to a synergistic effect between the in situ surfactant and the added surfactant that form a mixed interfacial monolayer, which is very efficient in decreasing the IFT to ultra low values and in resisting mass transfer across the oil/water interface.
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Siwar Trabelsi, Anthony Hutin, Jean-François Argillier, Christine Dalmazzone, Brigitte Bazin, et al.. Effect of Added Surfactants on the Dynamic Interfacial Tension Behaviour of Alkaline/Diluted Heavy Crude Oil System. Oil & Gas Science and Technology - Revue d'IFP Energies nouvelles, Institut Français du Pétrole, 2012, 67 (6), pp.963-968. ⟨10.2516/ogst/2012033⟩. ⟨hal-00815900⟩

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