Enhancing the Stability of Foam by the Use of Nanoparticles Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 American Chemical Society. Foam generation is one of the most promising techniques to overcome gas mobility challenges and improve the sweep efficiency of reservoir fluids. The synergistic effect of surfactant and nanoparticles can help produce a stronger and more stable foam in reservoir porous media. The objective of this work is to assess the ability of anionic surfactant and a mixture of the surfactant and nanoparticles to produce foam for gas mobility control and the enhancement of oil recovery. Static, dynamic, and core flood tests were conducted to evaluate foam strength. Static foam tests in the presence of crude oil showed a clear trend on foam behavior when solid nanoparticles were added to surfactant. As the concentration of nanoparticles increases, the foam half-life increases, too. Foamability tests in Bentheimer sandstone showed better foam generation and stabilization when nanoparticles were used. The addition of nanoaprticles to surfactant solutions resulted in higher pressure drop and, therefore, higher reduction of gas mobility compared to surfactant. The rise in temperature from 25 to 50C reduces the measured pressure drop across the core samples in the absence and presence of nanoparticles, which can be attributed to the reduction in foam stability and strength. Both surfactant and a mixture of surfactant and nanoparticles were able to enhance oil recovery. The surfactant was able to bring the oil recovery to 41.45% of the original oil in place (OOIP). In contrast, the presence of nanoparticles resulted in higher oil recovery, 49.05%, of the OOIP.

published proceedings

  • Energy & Fuels

author list (cited authors)

  • AlYousef, Z., Almobarky, M., & Schechter, D.

citation count

  • 69

complete list of authors

  • AlYousef, Zuhair||Almobarky, Mohammed||Schechter, David

publication date

  • October 2017