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The Physico-Chemical Conditions Necessary to Produce Ultralow Interfacial Tension at the Oil/Brine Interface

  • K. S. Chan
  • D. O. Shah

Abstract

In a petroleum sulfonate/isobutanol/dodecane/brine system, there are two regions of ultralow interfacial tension (IFT), one at low surfactant concentrations (0.1–0.2%) and the other at higher surfactant concentrations (4 to 10%). In the low concentration range, the oil/brine/surfactant/alcohol system is a two-phase system, whereas at high surfactant concentrations, it becomes a three-phase system in which a middle phase microemulsion is in equilibrium with excess brine and oil. For low surfactant concentration systems, we have shown that the ultralow IFT minimum corresponds to the onset of micellization and partition coefficient of surfactant near unity. This correlation was observed for the effect of surfactant concentration, salt concentration and oil chain length on the interfacial tension. The minimum in inter-facial tension corresponds to a maximum electrophoretic mobility of oil droplets. This correlation was also observed for the effect of caustic on several crude oils.

Keywords

Interfacial Tension Surfactant Concentration Surface Charge Density Middle Phase Optimal Salinity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. S. Chan
    • 1
  • D. O. Shah
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Chemical Engineering and AnesthesiologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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