Masters Theses


"Surfactants and nanoparticles are materials being widely used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Surfactants are mainly used to reduce the interfacial tension between oil and water which could form a stable film of emulsion between these two immiscible fluids. Also, nanotechnology is a potential candidate to offer another solution to improve oil recovery. Nanoparticles can form a solid layer at the droplet's interface and stand as resistant stabilizer under harsh reservoir conditions.

This research investigates whether the combination of surfactants and nanoparticles can provide a more stable emulsion than surfactants only. Two parts of experimental study have been done in this research. First part was implemented using three types of surfactants; nonionic, anionic, and cationic surfactant. The commercial names of these surfactants are IGEPAL Co-530, dodecyl sulfate sodium (SDS), and cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB). Second part was conducted using combinations of same surfactants mentioned above with nanoparticles. These nanoparticles are aluminum oxide (Al2O3) and silicon dioxide (SiO2). These two parts of experimental work were done using different ratios of water to oil. The crude oils used in these experiments were from southeast Kansas, U.S., from an oilfield operated by Blue Top Energy LLC.

Results showed that IGEPAL Co-530 with water continuous phase and CTAB with oil continuous phase could give a stable emulsion in room temperature (25⁰C) while SDS could break the emulsion within a few hours. More emulsion stability is achieved by adding Al2O3 and SiO2 nanoparticles to IGEPAL Co-530 while adding them to SDS and CTAB depend on the water to oil ratio."--Abstract, page iii.


Bai, Baojun
Neogi, P. (Partho), 1951-

Committee Member(s)

Wei, Mingzhen


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Petroleum Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2015


x, 44 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 42-43).


© 2015 Zainab Alabdulmohsen, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Enhanced oil recovery
Surface active agents
Emulsions -- Analysis

Thesis Number

T 10659

Electronic OCLC #