Developing surfactant–nanoparticle systems for enhanced oil recovery

There has been a growing interest in the application of nanotechnology for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Nanoparticles possess unique physical and chemical properties due to their small size. In addition, their surface coating can be easily tailored for a particular EOR application. The proposed research will develop surfactant-coated nanoparticles as an additive. These nanoparticles will increase the recovery of residual oil in unconventional reservoirs found in Saskatchewan. Silica nanoparticles will be coated with zwitterionic surfactants. These surfactants are commonly found in personal care products and are derived from plant oils, such as coconut oil. To date, few zwitterionic surfactants have been examined for their application in EOR processes. This research will benefit PTRC stakeholders in both the private and public sectors. Industrial partners will benefit through a reduction in operating costs and enhanced oil recovery from producing well sites. The Saskatchewan government and Canada will benefit through royalty revenue by attracting additional industrial partners to Saskatchewan oil resources. Further, this nanotechnology will be marketable nationally and internationally.

Faculty Supervisor:

R. Scott Murphy


Virendrakumar Bharatkumar Patel;Krishna Janak Patel


Petroleum Technology Research Centre


Biochemistry / Molecular biology


Mining and quarrying


University of Regina



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