Bhat, Bhargavi Sripathi (2020-11). pH-SWITCHABLE DYNAMIC BINARY COMPLEXES AS VISCOSITY MODIFYING AGENTS. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • The study of supramolecular structures has been gaining a lot of momentum in recent years due to their potential application in several interesting areas such as medicine, catalysis, energy, oil and gas, etc. Hydraulic fracturing is one area where the ongoing demand for novel viscosity modifiers has prompted researchers to explore various facets of chemistry. In this study, a dynamic binary complex (DBC) solution is presented, with the potential to be useful in the hydraulic fracturing domain. It has a supramolecular structure that is formed by the self-assembly of oleic acid and diethylenetriamine into an elongated network under alkaline conditions. With less than 2 wt% of constituents in aqueous solution, a viscous gel that exhibits high viscosities even under shear was formed. It was sensitive to pH and salinity, and its zero-shear viscosity could be tuned by a factor of ~280 by changing the pH. Furthermore, its viscous properties were pronounced in the presence of salt. Sand settling tests revealed its potential to hold up sand particles for extended periods of time, longer than 24 hours. In conclusion, this DBC solution system has potential to be utilized as a smart pH-switchable hydraulic fracturing fluid that can be prepared using seawater.

publication date

  • November 2020