Formation and Performance Evaluation of Colloidal Dispersion Gels Prepared Using Sulfonated Polyacrylamides and Chromium (III) Acetate

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Petroleum Engineering, Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


Using a sulfonated polyacrylamide (SPAM) and Cr3+, a new colloidal dispersion gel (CDG) was prepared. The viscosity of the CDG samples in different crosslinker concentrations and brine compositions was measured. The results showed that CDGs approach a Newtonian-like behavior in high crosslinker concentrations and salinities, signifying that they possess more rigid, less flexible particles that can be used to block some of the pore throats of the high-permeability layers. Therefore, three core flood tests were performed and the retention of the polymers and the final RRF values (residual resistance factor) were determined. Although CDGs showed a lower tendency to be adsorbed onto the rocks, they caused drastically higher RRF values (caused higher permeability reductions). Thus, it can be concluded that CDGs are superior compared to normal polymer solutions in modifying the permeability. Moreover, changing the post-flood fluid from brine to distilled water caused the RRF to decrease, hence a weaker effect on the permeability.


1] Parshall J. Mature Fields hold big expansion opportunity. Journal of Petroleum Technology. 2012 Oct 1;64(10):52-8.
[2] Saghafi HR, Naderifar A, Gerami S, Emadi MA. Improvement in thermo‐chemical stability of nanocomposite preformed particle gels for conformance control in harsh oil reservoir conditions. The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering. 2016 Oct;94(10):1880-90.
[3] Craig FF. The reservoir engineering aspects of waterflooding. New York: HL Doherty Memorial Fund of AIME; 1971.
[4] Needham RB, Doe PH. Polymer flooding review. Journal of Petroleum Technology. 1987 Dec 1;39(12):1-503.
[5] Yu H, Pan K, Li S, Guo H, He Y, Xu Y, Zhang T, Du S, Cheng S. Well testing interpretation method and application in triple‐layer reservoirs by polymer flooding: Bohrloch Auslegungsmethode und Anwendung in dreilagigen Reservoirs durch Polymerflutung. Materialwissenschaft und Werkstofftechnik. 2015 Nov;46(11):1133-41.
[6] Wang YY, Dai YH, Zhang L, Luo L, Chu YP, Zhao S, Li MZ, Wang EJ, Yu JY. Hydrophobically modified associating polyacrylamide solutions: Relaxation processes and dilational properties at the oil− water interface. Macromolecules. 2004 Apr 20;37(8):2930-7.
[7] Hou J, Liu Z, Zhang S, Yang J. The role of viscoelasticity of alkali/surfactant/polymer solutions in enhanced oil recovery. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering. 2005 Jun 30;47(3-4):219-35.
[8] Zolfaghari R, Katbab AA, Nabavizadeh J, Tabasi RY, Nejad MH. Preparation and characterization of nanocomposite hydrogels based on polyacrylamide for enhanced oil recovery applications. Journal of applied polymer science. 2006 May 5;100(3):2096-103.
[9] Shaikh S, Ali SA, Hamad EZ, Abu‐Sharkh BF. Synthesis and solution properties of poly (acrylamide‐styrene) block copolymers with high hydrophobic content. Polymer Engineering & Science. 1999 Oct;39(10):1962-8.
[10] Bjørsvik M, Høiland H, Skauge A. Formation of colloidal dispersion gels from aqueous polyacrylamide solutions. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects. 2008 Mar 20;317(1-3):504-11.
[11] Ashrafizadeh M, SA AR, Sadeghnejad S. Enhanced polymer flooding using a novel nano‐scale smart polymer: Experimental investigation. The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering. 2017 Nov;95(11):2168-75.
[12] Reichenbach-Klinke R, Langlotz B, Wenzke B, Spindler C, Brodt G. Associative copolymer with favorable properties for the application in polymer flooding. InSPE International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry 2011 Jan 1. Society of Petroleum Engineers.
[13] R. Reichenbach-Klinke, B. Langlotz, C. Spindler, B. Wenzke, Novel Associative Copolymer with Favorable Properties in Polymer Flooding Applications, IOR 2011-16th European Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, 2011.
[14] Li F, Zhu WX, Yu DZ, Song H, Wang KL. Rheological properties and enhanced oil recovery performance of a novel sulfonate polyacrylamide. Journal of Macromolecular Science, Part A. 2018 Jun 3;55(6):449-54.
[15] Azamifard A, Bashiri G, Gerami S, Hemmati‐Sarapardeh A. On the evaluation of Alkaline‐Surfactant‐Polymer flooding in a field scale: Screening, modelling, and optimization. The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering. 2017 Aug;95(8):1615-25.
[16] Norman C, Turner BO, Romero JL, Centeno GA, Muruaga E. A review of over 100 polymer gel injection well conformance treatments in Argentina and Venezuela: Design, field implementation and evaluation. InInternational Oil Conference and Exhibition in Mexico 2006 Jan 1. Society of Petroleum Engineers.
10 Rahimi and Saeedi
[17] Sun Z, Lu X, Xu G, Kang X, Li Q, Jiang W. Effects of core structure and clay mineral on gel-forming performance of chromium polymer. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects. 2018 Mar 5; 540:256-64.
[18] Alvand E, Aalaie J, Hemmati M, Sajjadian VA. Colloidal dispersion gels based on sulfonated polyacrylamide and chromium triacetate for harsh-environment. Korean Journal of Chemical Engineering. 2016 Jun 1;33(6):1954-1963.
[19] Wang W, Lu X, Xie X. Evaluation of intra-molecular cross-linked polymers. InSPE Western Regional and Pacific Section AAPG Joint Meeting 2008 Jan 1. Society of Petroleum Engineers.
[20] Spildo K, Skauge A, Skauge T. Propagation of colloidal dispersion gels (CDG) in laboratory corefloods. InSPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium 2010 Jan 1. Society of Petroleum Engineers.
[21] Rashidi M, Blokhus AM, Skauge A. Viscosity and retention of sulfonated polyacrylamide polymers at high temperature. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 2011 Mar 15;119(6):3623-9.
[22] Hunt JA, Young TS, Green DW, Willhite GP. Size-exclusion chromatography in the measurement of concentration and molecular weight of some EOR polymers. SPE reservoir engineering. 1988 Aug 1;3(03):835-41.
[23] Wei B, Romero-Zerón L, Rodrigue D. Mechanical properties and flow behavior of polymers for enhanced oil recovery. Journal of Macromolecular Science, Part B. 2014 Apr 3;53(4):625-44.
[24] Lu X, Song K, Niu J, Chen F. Performance and evaluation methods of colloidal dispersion gels in the Daqing oil field. InSPE Asia Pacific Conference on Integrated Modelling for Asset Management 2000 Jan 1. Society of Petroleum Engineers.
[25] Rahimi R, Dehaghani AS. An experimental study on the viscosity of SPAM solutions with a new correlation predicting the apparent viscosity of sulfonated polyacrylamides. Petroleum. 2020 Mar 29.
[26] Li MY, Dong ZX, Lin MQ, Wu ZL. A study on the size and conformation of linked polymer coils. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering. 2004 Jan 1;41(1-3):213-9.
[27] Hernandez FA, Niño JC, Moreno RL. Effects of salts and temperature on rheological and viscoelastic behavior of low molecular weight HPAM solutions. Fuentes, el reventón energético. 2018 Jul 24;16(1):19-35.
[28] Rashidi M. Physico-chemistry characterization of sulfonated polyacrylamide polymers for use in polymer flooding.