Relationship of Oil Recovery Activity to Surfactant Aggregate Size in Petroleum Sulfonate Solutions

  • Ying-Chech Chiu


Membrane osmometry and Coulter counter measurement have been used to study the size of the surfactant aggregates in solutions used in tertiary recovery. The size of the aggregates is strongly dependent on the electrolyte concentration in the surfactant solution. The aggregate size in the optimum recovery activity region (in terms of electrolyte concentration) is around 1 μ. The particles in the active solutions show a strong effect on polarized light. It is suggested that in aqueous surfactant systems, the essential requirement for building up recovery activity is to make large surfactant aggregates with a certain size. Mechanisms based on the size requirement of the surfactant aggregates have been used to describe the sodium and calcium requirements in optimum salinity regions of a chemical slug in the presence and absence of NE0D0L® 25-3S. The interaction between sodium and calcium ions with petroleum sulfonate and NE0D0L 25-3S was studied using specific ion electrodes.


Interfacial Tension Surfactant Solution Aggregate Size Aggregation Number Recovery Activity 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ying-Chech Chiu
    • 1
  1. 1.Shell Development CompanyHoustonUSA

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