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Effects of Hydrophobically Modified Polymers on the Stability of Emulsions and mineral Wettability

Somasuandaran, Ponisseril1, Puspendu Deo2 (1) Columbia University, New York, NY (2) Columbia University, New York, NY


Hybrid polymers constitute a novel class of polymers that are finding important applications in rheological control, enhanced oil recovery, detergency, pharmaceuticals, paint and coating, etc, owing to their unique structural combination of both surfactants and polyelectrolytes. They form hydrophobic or hydrophilic nanodomains depending upon the environment in a manner similar to surfactants, but differing with respect to the size, shape, hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity of the internal core, etc. This unique property, together with the conformational sensitivity to pH, ionic strength and temperature, gives hybrids additional opportunities in rheological control, improved oil recovery and effluent treatment. In the current work, the solution and solid/liquid interfacial properties of poly (maleic acid/octyl vinyl ether) (PMAOVE) has been investigated by studying hydrophobic aggregation, adsorption on solids and colloid stability using a multi pronged experimental approach. The flexible hydrophobic chains on PMAOVE enable the polymer to form intra-molecular nanodomains in solutions as detected by pyrene fluorescence with the nature of the inside nanodomain packing depending ,among other, on the solution pH. Interestingly, the hypercoiled conformation of PMAOVE reduces its parking area at the alumina/water interface and thus shows a higher adsorption density than its unmodified homologue with the conformation sensitivity to pH also exhibited by its interfacial adsorption behavior. The effect of the hydrophobically modified polymer PMAOVE on the solution behavior of reverse microemulsions studied using electrical percolation, dynamic light scattering and electron spin resonance techniques made them useful for controlling the reverse microemulsion phase stability. These findings are expected to assist control of the solution and interfacial properties of flooding fluids and design of optimal additives in enhanced oil recovery schemes


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90055©2006 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, Billings, Montana