The Effect of pH and Mineralogy on the Retention of Polymeric Scale Inhibitors on Carbonate Rocks for Application in Squeeze Treatments
- Khosro Jarrahian (Heriot-Watt University) | Ken S. Sorbie (Heriot-Watt University) | Michael A. Singleton (Heriot-Watt University) | Lorraine S. Boak (Heriot-Watt University) | Alexander J. Graham (Heriot-Watt University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- May 2019
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 344 - 360
- 2019.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Scale Inhibitor Retention, Squeeze Treatments, Polymeric Scale Inhibitors, Carbonate Formations
- 10 in the last 30 days
- 131 since 2007
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The bulk “apparent-adsorption” behavior (Γapp vs. Cf) of two polymeric scale inhibitors (SIs), polyphosphino carboxylic acid (PPCA) and phosphorus-functionalized copolymer (PFC), onto carbonate mineral substrates has been studied for initial solution pH values of 2, 4, and 6. The two carbonate minerals used, calcite and dolomite, are much more chemically reactive than sandstone minerals (such as quartz, feldspars, and clays), which have already been studied extensively. In nearly all cases, precipitates formed at higher SI concentrations were caused by the formation of sparingly soluble SI/calcium (Ca) complexes. A systematic study has been performed on the SI/Ca precipitates formed by applying both environmental scanning electron microscopy energy-dispersive X-ray (ESEM-EDX) analysis and particle-size analysis (PSA), and this identifies the morphology and the approximate composition of the precipitates.
For PPCA, at all initial solution pH values, regions of pure adsorption (Γ) (PPCA < 100 ppm) and coupled adsorption/precipitation (Γ/Π) are clearly observed for both calcite and dolomite. PFC at pH values of 4 and 6 also showed very similar behavior, with a region of pure adsorption (Γ) for PFC < 500 ppm and a region of coupled adsorption/precipitation (Γ/Π) above this level. However, the PFC/calcite case at pH = 2 showed only pure adsorption, whereas the PFC/dolomite case at pH = 2 again showed coupled adsorption/precipitation at higher PFC concentrations. For the SIs on both carbonate substrates, precipitation is the more dominant mechanism for SI retention than adsorption above a minimum concentration of approximately 100 to 500 ppm SI. The actual amount of precipitate formed varies from case to case, depending on the specific SI, the substrate (calcite/dolomite), and the initial pH (pH = 2, 4, and 6).
Although the qualitative behaviors of both PPCA and PFC were similar on both carbonate substrates, the apparent adsorption of PPCA was higher on calcite than on dolomite, and the apparent adsorption of PFC was higher on dolomite than on calcite. We discuss here how these observations are related to the reactivity of the different carbonate minerals, the resulting final pH (which affects the dissociation of the SI), the Ca-SI binding, and the solubility of the resulting complex.
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