Anionic polyalkoxy group comprising surfactants on basis of guerbet-alcohols, method of manufacture and use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) applications

Pope, Gary A.
Weerasooriya, Upali P.
Oetter, Gunter
Spindler, Christian E.
Bittner, Christian
Tinsley, Jack F.
Vogel, Sophie
Alvarez Jurgenson, Gabriela
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United States Patent and Trademark Office

Compositions and methods of synthesis of anionic surfactants by alkoxylation of a Guerbet alcohol (GA) having 12 to 36 carbon atoms using butylene oxide, and optionally propylene oxide and/or ethylene oxide followed by the incorporation of a terminal anionic group are described herein. The GA of the present invention is made by a facile and inexpensive method that involves high temperature base catalyzed dimerization of alcohols with 6 to 18 carbon atoms. The large hydrophobe ether surfactants of the present invention find uses in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) applications where it is used for solubilization and mobilization of oil and for environmental cleanup. Further, the hydrophobe alkoxylated GA without anionic terminal group can be used as an ultra-high molecular weight non-ionic surfactant.