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Comment Processing & Handling

A starch-based cationic polymer for oil recovery

By Paul Grad |

Cationic polymers have been used in the petroleum industry as shale-control agents, demulsifiers, blocking agents, and filtrate reducers for drilling fluids, but process complexity and high cost have limited their application. Now researchers from Zhejiang Normal University (Jinhua; www.zjnu.edu.cn) and Shandong University (Jinhua, both China; www.sdu.edu.cn) have reported the preparation of a water-soluble cationic starch that significantly enhances oil recovery when injected after conventional water flooding. The commonly used partially hydrolysed polyacrylamide (HPAM) is not suitable for high-salinity reservoirs in the enhanced oil recovery technique. The researchers therefore prepared water-soluble quaternary ammonium cationic starch — which has a better salt tolerance — through the reaction of maize starch with 2-chloroethyltrimethyl ammonium chloride under mechanical stirring at 80°C in the presence of catalyst NaOH. HPAM (3530S, SNF) was used for comparison without further purification. Both the modified starch solution and HPAM solution were prepared using reservoir formation water (total salinity degree = 5,727 mg/L) as solvent. Model oil used in laboratory simulation was made from degassed oil of Gudao oilfield…
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