Baghban Salehi, Mahsa (Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Research Center of Iran) | Mousavi Moghadam, Asefe (Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Research Center of Iran) | Jarrahian, Khosro (Heriot-Watt University)
Preformed Particle Gel (PPG) is an appropriate solution for conformance control and managing water production in low permeable reservoirs. Rheological behavior evaluation of these deformable particles is a key factor in designing composition to achieve the best conformance control treatment due to the viscoelastic behavior of these particles along with their swelling. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the network parameters of PPGs through swelling tests, rheology and determining its role in maintaining their structural strength. Several PPG hydrogels were prepared by varying the concentrations of polyacrylamide and Cr(OAc)3 as copolymer and crosslinker, respectively. The characterization of these hydrogels was performed using Scanning Electron Micrographs (SEM), Electron Dispersion X-ray analysis (EDX), Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM), ThermoGravimetric Analysis (TGA), and Differential ThermoGravimetry (DTG). The correlation between reaction conditions and network parameters of polymer networks such as, molecular weight of the polymer chain between two neighboring crosslinks, crosslink density, and size fraction have been determined. The swelling of the hydrogels was found through the Fickian diffusion mechanism. In this case, the diffusion rate of water in the 3D structure of the hydrogel is less than the relaxation of the polymeric chain, resulting in a significant increase in the PPG particles volume. As PPG was invaded such as in the reservoir by formation water or oil, repeatedly, the sensitivity factor was measured to ensure the swelling in the electrolyte solution. Based on rheological tests, the dynamic modulus of the swelled PPG was strongly dependent on the concentration and consequently network parameters. Also, through the optimization of the network parameters, the appropriate composition from the point of view of strength (complex modulus of 4×104 Pa) and salt sensitivity of 0.5 was presented. In addition, the results of the TGA/DTG test demonstrated the thermal stability of the sample was in temperature range 245 to 340°C. The determination and analysis of the network parameter is the novel technique for predicting the hydrogel performance in porous media and investigating its strength under harsh reservoir conditions. In other words, determination of the network parameter can be a shortcut to ensure the success of the gel performance in porous media.