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Evaluation of Clay Hydration and Swelling Inhibition Using Quaternary Ammonium Dicationic Surfactant with Phenyl Linker.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) (2020-09-26)
Mobeen Murtaza, Hafiz Mudaser Ahmad, Muhammad Shahzad Kamal, Syed Muhammad Shakil Hussain, Mohamed Mahmoud, Shirish Patil

Water-based drilling fluids are extensively used for drilling oil and gas wells. However, water-based muds cause clay swelling, which severely affects the stability of wellbore. Due to two adsorption positions, it is expected that cationic gemini surfactants can reduce the clay swelling. In this work, quaternary ammonium dicationic gemini surfactants containing phenyl linkers and different counterions (Cl- and Br-) were synthesized, and the effect of variation in counterions on swelling and hydration properties of shales was studied. Numerous water-based drilling fluid formulations were prepared with different concentrations of surfactants to study the swelling inhibition capacity of surfactants. The performance of surfactant-containing drilling muds was evaluated by comparing them with base drilling mud, and sodium silicate drilling mud. Various experimental techniques were employed to study drilling mud characteristics such as rheology and filtration. The inhibition properties of drilling mud formulations were determined by linear swelling experiment, capillary suction time test, particle size distribution measurement, wettability measurements, and X-ray Diffraction (XRD). Experimental results showed that surfactant-based formulation containing bromide counterion exhibited superior rheological properties as compared to other investigated formulations. The filtration test showed that the gemini surfactant with chloride counterion had higher filtrate loss compared to all other formulations. The bentonite swelling was significantly reduced with increasing the concentration of dicationic surfactants as inhibitors, and maximum reduction in the linear swelling rate was observed by using a formulation containing surfactant with chloride counterion. The lowest capillary suction timer (CST) was obtained in the formulation containing surfactant with chloride counterion as less CST indicated the enhanced inhibition capacity. The particle size measurement showed that average bentonite particle size increased upon the addition of surfactants depicting the inhibition capacity. The increase in basal spacing obtained from XRD analysis showed the intercalation of gemini surfactants in interlayers of bentonite. The contact angle measurements were performed to study the wettability of the bentonite film surface, and the results showed that hydrophobicity increased by incorporating the surfactants to the drilling fluid.

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3-(Dimethylamino)-1-propylamine, 99%
Aluminum oxide, powder, 99.99% trace metals basis