Rheologica Acta

, Volume 58, Issue 3–4, pp 145–157 | Cite as

Effect of salt valency and concentration on shear and extensional rheology of aqueous polyelectrolyte solutions for enhanced oil recovery

  • Anna V. Walter
  • Leidy N. Jimenez
  • Jelena Dinic
  • Vivek Sharma
  • Kendra A. ErkEmail author
Original Contribution


The injection of polymer solutions into an oil basin can lead to enhanced oil recovery (EOR) by increasing the microscopic sweep of the reservoir, improving the water-oil motility ratio, and thus leading to greater yield from oil fields. In this contribution, we characterize both shear and extensional rheological response of aqueous solutions of partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM), the most commonly used polymer for EOR, for velocity gradients in both the flow direction (extensional) and perpendicular to flow (shear) arise in EOR applications. As HPAM is a charged polymer, to better emulate the environment in oil basins, the rheological response was investigated in presence of salt, sodium chloride, and calcium chloride, with concentrations 3.7 × 10−4 − 1.5 M, as a function of polymer molecular weight (2–10 million g/mol) and concentration (0.005–0.3 wt%). The extensional relaxation times and extensional viscosity are measured using dripping-onto-substrate (DoS) rheometry protocols, and a commercial shear rheometer was utilized for characterizing the shear rheology response. The polyelectrolyte solutions formed by HPAM exhibit shear thinning in steady shear, but show strain hardening in response to extensional flow. Even though an increase in monovalent salt concentration leads to a decrease in both shear viscosity and extensional relaxation times, an increase in divalent salt concentration leads to an increase in extensional viscosity and relaxation time, implying that ion coordination can play a role in the presence of multivalent ions.


Polyelectrolyte Rheology Extensional flow Salt condensation 


Funding information

A.V.W. and K.A.E. would like to thank the Pioneer Oil Company (Lawrenceville, Illinois) for providing the FLOPAAM samples and the Purdue Gas and Oil Boiler Innovation Group (GO BIG) for initial project funding. Acknowledgement (K.A.E.) is also made to the Donors of the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund for partial support of this research. V.S. would like to acknowledge funding support by the College of Engineering and the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The students (J.D. & L.N.J.) were supported by the start-up funds as well as funding by the Campus Research Board (CRB). L.N.J. also wishes to acknowledge sustained funding (Teaching Assistantship) by the Department of Chemistry at UIC.

Supplementary material

397_2019_1130_MOESM1_ESM.docx (557 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 557 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Materials EngineeringPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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