Silane Treatment of 3D-Printed Sandstone Models for Improved Spontaneous Imbibition of Water
Due to the natural heterogeneity of hydrocarbon reservoirs, accurate modeling and simulation of geomaterials can lead to sophisticated problems when multiple variables are either unknown or assumed. Additive manufacturing or 3D printing has been shown to alleviate some of the deviation of simulation verification by providing a controlled, repeatable and efficient method to fabricate model sandstone at an unprecedented level. However, the printing process to create 3D-printed model sandstone utilizes a polymer binder that is unlike the cementing material in natural sandstone. For natural materials, years of sedimentation and mineral deposits create crystalline bonds, cementing particulates together. Yet, in 3D-printed sandstone the polymer binding sand grains together are different in both mechanical and hydraulic properties from the surrounding grains. Therefore, there are discrepancies between the hydraulic properties of natural and 3D-printed sandstone that must be investigated to aid simulation and flow studies. One area of discrepancy is the wetting behavior of 3D-printed model sandstone, which has been shown to exhibit a neutral or mixed wettability between oil and water during spontaneous imbibition tests. However, a hydrophilic porous media is required for water-driven recovery simulations, where water can wet the porous media completely and enhance hydrocarbon recovery. By utilizing silane solutions, the contact angle of water on the polymer binder and silica sand surface can be decreased, producing a hydrophilic surface. Through the silane treatment process, it is shown that the spontaneous imbibition of 3D-printed sandstone with water can be dramatically increased (~ 200-fold increase), providing an additional tool for reservoir simulations and suggesting wettability tuning to represent a homogenous porous media.
KeywordsAdditive manufacturing Silane treatment Sandstone Enhanced oil recovery Imbibition
The authors greatly appreciate the generosity of Dr. Rick Chalaturnyk from the University of Alberta for discussions and access to equipment in order to fabricate the specimens in this study. The authors wish to thank CONACyT/Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo (Mexican Institute of Petroleum) and Energi Simulation for their financial support, and the University of Alberta Glass Shop for manufacturing the Amott cells used in this study.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Ardila, N.A.A.: Hydraulic properties characterization of 3D printed sandstone analogues. MSc Thesis. University of Alberta (2017)Google Scholar
- Berson, A., Talbot, E.L., Brown, P.S., Bain, C.D.: Experimental investigation of the impact, spreading and drying of picoliter droplets onto substrates with a broad range of wettabilities. In: 27th International Conference on Digital Printing Technologies NIP27. Minneaspolis, USA, October 2–6 (2011)Google Scholar
- Bobek, J.E., Mattax, C.C., Denekas, M.O.: Reservoir rock wettability-its significance and evaluation. J. Pet. Technol. 213, 155–160 (1958)Google Scholar
- Brace, W.F.: Dependence of fracture strength of rocks on grain size. In: The 4th U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics (USRMS), University Park, PA (1961)Google Scholar
- Brownstein, A: The chemistry of polyethylene glycol. In: Proceedings of the ICOM Waterlogged Wood Working Group, Ottawa, September 15–18, pp. 279–287 (1981)Google Scholar
- Clementz, D.M.: Alteration of rock properties by adsorption of petroleum heavy ends: implications for enhanced oil recovery. SPE Enhanced Oil Recovery Symp. Article 10683 (1982)Google Scholar
- Denekas, M.O., Mattax, C.C., Davis, G.T.: Effect of crude oil components on rock wettability. J. Pet. Technol. 216, 330–333 (1959)Google Scholar
- Fisher Scientific. Online Catalogue. https://www.fishersci.ca/ca/en/home.html (2018). Accessed 10 April 2018
- Gelest: Safety Data Sheet, 2-[methoxy(polyethyleneoxy)6-9propyl]trimethoxysilane. SIM6492.7. Version 2.1. 23 January (2017)Google Scholar
- Gomez, J.: Mechanical characterization of 3D printed reservoir sandstone analogues. MSc Thesis. University of Alberta (2017)Google Scholar
- Hodder, K.J.: Fabrication, characterization and performance of 3D-printed sandstone models. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Alberta (2017)Google Scholar
- Kim, Y.M., Arkles, B., Pan, Y.: The role of polarity in the structure of silanes employed in surface modification. In: Mittal, K.L. (ed.) Silanes and Other Coupling Agents, vol. 5, pp. 51–64. CRC Press, Boca Raton (2009)Google Scholar
- Osinga, S., Zambrano-Narvaez, G., Chalaturnyk, R.J.: Study of geomechanical properties of 3D printed sandstone analogue. In: Proceedings from the 49th American Rock Mechanics Association, ARMA 15–547 (2015)Google Scholar
- Shakoor, A., Bonelli, R.E.: Relationship between petrographic characteristics, engineering index properties, and mechanical properties of selected sandstones. Bull. Eng. Geol. Environ. 28, 55–71 (1991)Google Scholar
- Sigma Aldrich-Millipore Sigma. Online Catalogue. https://www.sigmaaldrich.com/canada-english.html (2018). Accessed 10 April 2018
- Tiab, D., Donaldson, E.: Theory and Practice of Measuring Reservoir Rock and Fluid Transport Properties—Chapter 6: Wettability, 4th edn. Gulf Professional Publishing, Houston, TX (2015)Google Scholar
- Vutukuri, V.S., Lama, R.D., Saluja, S.S.: Handbook on Mechanical Properties of Rocks. Trans Tech Publications, Clausthal, Germany (1974)Google Scholar