Static Adsorption of an Ethoxylated Nonionic Surfactant on Carbonate Minerals


G. Jian, Puerto, M. C., Wehowsky, A., Dong, P., Johnston, K. P., Hirasaki, G. J., and Biswal, S. L., “Static Adsorption of an Ethoxylated Nonionic Surfactant on Carbonate Minerals,” Langmuir, vol. 32, no. 40, pp. 10244-10252, 2016.


The static adsorption of C12–14E22, which is a highly ethoxylated nonionic surfactant, was studied on different minerals using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) combined with an evaporative light scattering detector (ELSD). Of particular interest is the surfactant adsorption in the presence of CO2 because it can be used for foam flooding in enhanced oil recovery applications. The effects of the mineral type, impurities, salinity, and temperature were investigated. The adsorption of C12–14E22 on pure calcite was as low as 0.01 mg/m2 but higher on dolomite depending on the silica and clay content in the mineral. The adsorption remained unchanged when the experiments were performed using a brine solution or 0.101 MPa (1 atm) CO2, which indicates that electrostatic force is not the governing factor that drives the adsorption. The adsorption of C12–14E22 on silica may be due to hydrogen bonding between the oxygen in the ethoxy groups of the surfactant and the hydroxyl groups on the mineral surface. Additionally, thermal decomposition of the surfactant was severe at 80 °C but can be inhibited by operating in a reducing environment. Under reducing conditions, adsorption of C12–14E22increased at higher temperatures


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