Fundamentals of Fluid Flow in Porous Media
Multi-phase Saturated Rock Properties:
Wettability: ALTERATION BY SURFACTANTS
A surfactant is a polar compound, consisting of an amphiphilic molecule, with a hydrophilic part (anionic, cationic, amphoteric or nonionic) and a hydrophobic part. As a result, the addition of a surfactant to an oil-water mixture would lead to a reduction in the interfacial tension. In the past time, the surfactants were used to increase oil recovery by lowering IFT. Later on, due to the difficulty of initiating imbibition process in oil-wet carbonate rocks, many researchers have focused on how to alter the oil-wet carbonate to water-wet by using surfactants. The most successful method reported is the surfactant flooding in the presence of alkaline. There are a number of mechanisms for surfactant adsorption such as electrostatic attraction/repulsion, ion-exchange, chemisorption, chain-chain interactions, hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic bonding. The nature of the surfactants, minerals and solution conditions as well as the mineralogical composition of reservoir rocks play a governing role in determining the interactions between the reservoir minerals and externally added reagents (surfactants/ polymers) and their effect on solid-liquid interfacial properties such as surface charge and wettability.