An Evaluation of Graphene Oxides as Possible Foam Stabilizing Agents for CO₂ Based Enhanced Oil Recovery

Nanomaterials (Basel). 2018 Aug 8;8(8):603. doi: 10.3390/nano8080603.


Graphene oxide, nanographene oxide and partially reduced graphene oxide have been studied as possible foam stabilizing agents for CO₂ based enhanced oil recovery. Graphene oxide was able to stabilize CO₂/synthetic sea water foams, while nanographene oxide and partially reduced graphene oxide were not able to stabilize foams. The inability of nanographene oxide for stabilizing foams was explained by the increase of hydrophilicity due to size decrease, while for partially reduced graphene oxide, the high degree of reduction of the material was considered to be the reason. Graphene oxide brine dispersions showed immediate gel formation, which improved foam stability. Particle growth due to layer stacking was also observed. This mechanism was detrimental for foam stabilization. Gel formation and particle growth caused these particles to block pores and not being filterable. The work indicates that the particles studied are not suitable for CO₂ enhanced oil recovery purposes.

Keywords: CO2 foam; aquifer storage; enhanced oil recovery; graphene oxide; mobility control.