New correlation for predicting the best surfactant and co-solvent structures to evaluate for chemical EOR
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The focus of this study was the development of an improved correlation that more accurately quantifies the relationships between optimum salinity, optimum solubilization ratios, chemical formulation variables such as surfactant and co-solvent structures, and the EACN. Entrained in this study are improved correlations for co-solvent partition coefficients and correlations for the optimum salinity and solubilization ratio with EACN. Several trends in the oil-water partition coefficient were observed with the alcohol type (IBA and phenol), the number of ethylene oxide groups in the co-solvent, the EACN of the oil, temperature, and salinity. New EACN measurements were made using optimized formulations containing various combinations of primary surfactants, co-surfactants, co-solvents and alkali. The new EACN measurements ranged from 11.3 to 21.1. These new data significantly expand the total number of reliable EACN values available to understand and correlate chemical EOR formulation results. An improved correlation that more accurately quantifies the relationship between surfactant structure, co-solvents, oil, temperature, and optimum salinity was developed using a new and much larger high quality formulation dataset now available from studies done in recent years in the Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. The correlation is useful for understanding the now very large number of microemulsion phase behavior experiments as well as the uncertainties associated with these data, and for suggesting new chemical structures to develop and test.