Reversible and irreversible adsorption of bare and hybrid silica nanoparticles onto carbonate surface at reservoir condition

Zain UL Abedin Arain, Sarmad Al-Anssari, Muhammad Ali, Shoaib Memon, Masood Ahmed Bhatti, Christopher Lagat, Mohammad Sarmadivaleh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Realistic implementation of nanofluids in subsurface projects including carbon geosequestration and enhanced oil recovery requires full understanding of nanoparticles (NPs) adsorption behaviour in the porous media. The physicochemical interactions between NPs and between the NP and the porous media grain surface control the adsorption behavior of NPs. This study investigates the reversible and irreversible adsorption of silica NPs onto oil-wet and water-wet carbonate surfaces at reservoir conditions. Each carbonate sample was treated with different concentrations of silica nanofluid to investigate NP adsorption in terms of nanoparticles initial size and hydrophobicity at different temperatures, and pressures. Aggregation behaviour and the reversibility of NP adsorption onto carbonate surfaces was measured using dynamic light scattering (DLS), scanning electron microscope (SEM) images, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscope (EDS), and atomic force microscope (AFM) measurement. Results show that the initial hydrophilicity of the NP and the carbonate rock surface can influence the NPs adsorption onto the rock surfaces. Typically, oppositely charged NP and rock surface are attracted to each other, forming a mono or multilayers of NPs on the rock. Operation conditions including pressure and temperature have shown minor influence on nano-treatment efficiency. Moreover, DLS measurement proved the impact of hydrophilicity on the stability and adsorption trend of NPs. This was also confirmed by SEM images. Further, AFM results indicated that a wide-ranging adsorption scenario of NPs on the carbonate surface exists. Similar results were obtained from the EDS measurements. This study thus gives the first insight into NPs adsorption onto carbonate surfaces at reservoirs conditions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-285
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


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