Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2014, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (7): 1297-1302.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201405094

• SOFT MATTER • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Behavior of Emulsification and Thickening of Crude Oil in Mixed Cationic and Anionic Surfactant Systems

CAO Xu-Long1, ZHAO Hai-Na2, MA Cheng2, MA Bao-Dong1, ZHANG Ji-Chao1, YAN Lan1, HUANG Jian-Bin2   

  1. 1. Geological and Scientific Research Institute of Shengli Oilfield Co. Ltd., SINOPEC, Dongying 257015, Shandong Province, P. R. China;
    2. College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, P. R. China
  • Received:2014-03-07 Revised:2014-05-04 Published:2014-06-30
  • Contact: HUANG Jian-Bin
  • Supported by:

    The project was supported by the Important National Science & Technology Major Special Projects, China (2011ZX05011-004).


We report the emulsification and thickening of crude oil using mixtures of cationic and anionic surfactants, which have high water content. The solubility of the mixed surfactants in simulated oil field water was improved by adjusting the surfactant molecular structure. The suitable concentration and mixing ratio ranges of various mixed systems were determined, and water in oil (W/O) lactescence with high water content was obtained. In addition, we studied the effects of temperature, pH value, ionic strength, and oil/water volume ratio on the emulsification and thickening processes. A series of mixed systems with good emulsification and thickening ability were determined and optimized. Notably, some of the systems increased the viscosity of the emulsion by up to 80 times. This has significance for the improvement of oil recovery.

Key words: Cationic and anionic surfactant, Emulsification, Water-in-oil emulsion, Thickening property


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