Detection of magneto-activated water/oil interfaces containing nanoparticles
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Accurate, non-invasive determination of multiphase fluids distribution in reservoir rock can greatly help the evaluation and monitoring of oil reservoirs. This laboratory thesis research, carried but utilizing the biomedical engineering concepts and measurement facilities, is an important step in developing a novel magnetic field-based oil detection method. When paramagnetic nanoparticles are either adsorbed oil/water interface or dispersed in a fluid phase in reservoir rock pores, and exposed to external magnetic field, the resultant particle movements displace the interface. Interfacial tension acts as a restoring force, leading to interfacial fluctuation and a pressure (sound) save. As the first step, the motion of the interface between a suspension of paramagnetic nanoparticles and a non-magnetized fluid (placed in a cylindrical dish) is measured by phase-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT). Experiments were carried out with a range of iron-oxide nanoparticles that were synthesized and surface-coated by our Chemical Engineering collaborators. The numerical method was improved to be volume conserving, and extended to 3D, for more quantitative matching. The measurements of interfacial motion by PS-OCT confirm theoretical predictions of the frequency doubling and importance of material properties, such as the particle size, for the interface displacements. The relative densities of the fluid phase(air/aqueous and dodecane/aqueous) strongly affect the interfacial displacement. Next, the acoustic responses to the external magnetic oscillation, from the rock samples into which different aqueous dispersions of nanoparticles were injected, were measured in terms of the magnetic frequency, nanoparticle concentration, and other process parameters. Subsequently, the PS-OCT displacements in response to the external magnetic oscillation, from the rock samples into which different aqueous dispersions of nanoparticles were injected, were also measured in terms of the magnetic frequency, nanoparticle concentration, and other process parameters. Conclusions and the recommendations for further study are then given.