Illustration Alexander Shapiro

New postdoc project to study the extraction of residual oil by the injection of a brine of a different salinity

Wednesday 25 Apr 18


Alexander Shapiro
Associate Professor
DTU Chemical Engineering
+45 45 25 28 81

CERE Faculty Alexander Shapiro, in collaboration to Simon I. Andersen (DHRTC) has been granted support for a project about mobilization of oil drops under the action of the salinity gradients in petroleum experiments.

A one-year project will be carried out by a postdoctoral researcher. It is an experimental project involving building a new microfluidics setup.

Extraction of the residual oil from a petroleum reservoir by injection of a brine of a different salinity has long been considered as a promising way of production. However, the physical and chemical mechanisms of action of the modified salinity remain unclear.

It has been hypothesized that sharp variation of the salinity can help production. The residual oil exists in a porous rock in the form of separate drops surrounded by brine. A moving front between the brines of a different salinity might be able to mobilize an oil drop and make it pass the obstacles and constrictions.

A microfluidic experiment carried out in the present project will hopefully make it possible to verify this idea. This will either disclose one of the important mechanisms of the oil production by smart water, or eliminate this mechanism from further consideration.

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