Synthesis and modeling of stimuli-responsive polymers for fracturing fluids use

Currently, the global warming alerts, oil prices fluctuations and clean energy have paved the way of investing in the producing wells by enhancing the recovery of hydrocarbons compared to exploration wells. Applying hydraulic fracturing from injected fluids is most common method used. These fluids create cracks in the bedrock and push the hydrocarbons to the surface. The well usually have harsh conditions of high temperatures up to 200 °C and a variant pH between 3-11 which cause challenges to the injected fluids. Our aim is to develop a new type of polymer from a green polymerization initiation technique to produce a recyclable viscosifying agent that can create a well transporting of the recovered hydrocarbons. In addition to the experimental work, a mathematical model will be developed based on the polymerization mechanism to establish a robust polymer system that can change its viscosity based on a stimulus. The mathematical model will be able to simulate the viscosity of the product under the disturbance conditions of these wells. The product will be more economical than current polymers used, inherently safer due to green reactants materials involved in the reaction and allow fast and efficient removal of the polymer.

Mohammed Hafedh Awad
Faculty Supervisor: 
Thomas Duever
Partner University: