Engineered CO2 injection: The use of surfactants for enhanced sweep efficiency

Seunghee Kim*, J. Carlos Santamarina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Poor CO2 displacement efficiency can exacerbate hydro-chemo-mechanically coupled phenomena in CO2 storage reservoirs, increase the area affected by CO2 in the reservoir, and negatively impact the long-term geological storage of CO2. The injection of CO2 can be engineered using surfactants to improve displacement efficiency. Pendant and sessile drop tests show that a surfonic copolymer decreases the interfacial tension γfl and increases the contact angle θ under reservoir conditions. The combined changes in surface tension and contact angle have a pronounced effect on the capillary factor γfl·cosθ. Injection tests using micro-models and pore network simulations show that a smaller capillary factor transforms the displacement pattern and enhances the pore-scale sweep efficiency of CO2, surpassing 40% in 2-D applications. Surfactant cost may offset the technical advantages identified in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-332
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon dioxide
  • Engineered injection
  • Interfacial tension
  • Surfactant
  • Sweep efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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