Vinyl Acetate-Acrylic Acid Copolymer for Enhanced Oil Recovery


This paper pertains to the possible use of newly-synthesized vinyl acetate/acrylic acid (VA/AA) copolymer to help recover trapped crude oil, an important mineral resource. The proposed approach is to use the copolymer as a foaming surfactant (in water or brine), which will be driven by a gas, such as carbon dioxide or nitrogen. Neutralized forms of the copolymer result in an anionic surfactant, which has been found to have minimal adsorption onto the rock matrix. The neutralized VA/AA copolymers synthesized in this study are found to outperform other anionic surfactants and even more adsorbing nonionic surfactants. Due to the long chain nature of the hydrophilic groups of nonionic surfactants, they are found to produce better foams than anionic ones. Since VA/AA copolymers have long chain hydrophilic groups, it is not surprising that they are good foaming agents as well. Optical microscopy of VA/AA emulsions reveal that they form microscopic network surface structures, which are presumably due to liquid crystalline formation in macromolecular scale.

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G. Caneba and J. Axland, "Vinyl Acetate-Acrylic Acid Copolymer for Enhanced Oil Recovery," Journal of Minerals and Materials Characterization and Engineering, Vol. 1 No. 2, 2002, pp. 97-109. doi: 10.4236/jmmce.2002.12007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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