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Déplacement de liquides par osmose étudié en microfluidique : application à la récupération du pétrole

Abstract : Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) gathers various techniques to increase the efficiency of crude oil extraction. Among them, the Low-Salinity Waterflooding (LSW) has been used for more than 20 years and has demonstrated an additional efficiency of 5 to 20%. One of the hypotheses explaining this phenomenon rests on osmosis, which is a diffusion mechanism of a solvent through a semi-permeable membrane in order to balance chemical potential on both sides. During this thesis, experimental systems were developed in order to highlight the water flux through an oily membrane when subjected to a gradient of chemical potential. A first device consists of a sealed glass capillary where an oil meniscus separates two water reservoirs with a different solute concentrations. The meniscus movement is monitored over time, allowing to quantify the flow of water through the meniscus. This simple configuration gave us the opportunity to study differents kinds of and to modify the solute concentration in the aqueous phases or the temperature. More complex formulations with typical petroleum compounds such as asphaltenes or surfactants have also been explored, highlighting other water transport phenomena with an impact on the movement speed of the oil. Among other things, we observed the nucleation of drops of water in the organic phase which are then self-propelled under the effect of the chemical potential gradient. This device also made possible to quantify the flow of water through crude oils supplied by Total. In order to get closer to a real system, we developed a microfluidic device to model a porous medium. This system is composed of microcavities containing brine and separated from a low salinity reservoir with a thin oil layer. Thus, we have been able to determine the breaking times of these oil pockets inflated by osmotic pressure according to different parameters (oil volume, salinity of the immersed water and brine) but also to study the influence of the wetting properties on the mechanisms for expelling the oil.
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Erwan Crestel. Déplacement de liquides par osmose étudié en microfluidique : application à la récupération du pétrole. Chimie-Physique [physics.chem-ph]. Université Paris sciences et lettres, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019PSLET005⟩. ⟨tel-02631672⟩

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