Influence of Nanofluid Flooding on Oil Displacement in Porous Media


  • Mohammed Mahdi Chemical Engineering Department, College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
  • Sarmad Al-Anssari Chemical Engineering Department, College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq / School of Engineering, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, WA, 6027, Australia
  • Zain-UL-Abedin Arain Department of Petroleum Engineering, WA School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering, Curtin University, 26 Dick Perry Avenue, 6151, Kensington, Australia



Nanofluid, silica, nanoparticles, porous media, wettability, EOR


Hydrocarbon displacement at the pore scale is mainly controlled by the wetness properties of the porous media. Consequently, several techniques including nanofluid flooding were implemented to manipulate the wetting behavior of the pore space in oil reservoirs. This study thus focuses on monitoring the displacement of oil from artificial glass porous media, as a representative for sandstone reservoirs, before and after nanofluid flooding. Experiments were conducted at various temperatures (25 – 50° C), nanoparticles concentrations (0.001 – 0.05 wt% SiO2 NPs), salinity (0.1 – 2 wt% NaCl), and flooding time. Images were taken via a high-resolution microscopic camera and analyzed to investigate the displacement of the oil at different conditions. In addition, contact angle measurements on quartz surfaces were also conducted at similar conditions to understand the flow behavior in the porous media. Further, zeta potential and particle size distribution measurements were conducted to examine the stability of the injected nanofluids. Results revealed that the injection of nanofluids into oil-wet pore space can significantly enhance the recovery rate of hydrocarbon by altering the wettability of the porous media. However, salinity, particularly at high nanoparticles concentration (≥ 0.005) can dramatically reduce the efficiency of nanofluid. Further, increased aging time can improve the ability of nanofluid to alter the wettability of the surface, and thus more oil can be displaced. Thus, nanofluid can efficiently enhance oil recovery if correctly formulated.


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How to Cite

Mahdi, M., Al-Anssari, S., & Arain, Z.-U.-A. (2023). Influence of Nanofluid Flooding on Oil Displacement in Porous Media. Iraqi Journal of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, 24(2), 19–30.