Physicochemical Characterization of Zirconia Nanoparticle-Based Sodium Alginate Polymer Suspension for Enhanced Oil Recovery

Udit Surya Mohanty, Faisal Ur Rahman Awan, Muhammad Ali, Adnan Aftab, Alireza Keshavarz, Stefan Iglauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Biopolymers have been employed in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) due to their high viscosity and significant effects on waterflooding performance. Sodium alginate (NaAlg) is an excellent biopolymer that is extracted primarily from brown algae. It has been used in the biotechnology industry as a thickening agent, colloidal stabilizer, and oil recovery application. In the present study, a series of sodium alginate/zirconium oxide nanoparticle suspensions were prepared via solution mixing, and the effect of nanoparticle content, polymer concentration, temperature, salinity was investigated on the rheological behavior using a concentric cylinder dynamic rheometer. The rheology results revealed that the lower concentration of sodium alginates (0.01 to 0.06 wt %) and sodium alginate/nanoparticle suspensions (0.02 to 0.06 wt %) displayed shear thinning behavior for the whole range of shear rate from 0.1 to 100 s–1. It was noticed that the aging of the polymer/nanoparticle suspension at 25 °C for 7 days did not significantly affect the rheological characteristics. It was moreover observed that enhancing salinity from 0.015 to 0.1 wt % in the 0.04 wt % ZrO2 nanoparticle suspension comprising 0.1 wt % sodium alginate showed a progressive decrease in viscosity under the temperature range from 25 to 50 °C. The proposed sodium alginate/zirconium oxide nanoparticles from the mentioned results indicate their potential for enhanced oil recovery applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEnergy & Fuels
StatePublished - Nov 16 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-11-23
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by Edith Cowan University (ECU), Australia, Early Career Research Grant No. G1003450. The authors would like to thank ECU, Australia, for the Ph.D. grant vide ECU HDR Scholarship-2018.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology


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