Date of Award
Master of Science in Chemical Sciences (MSCB)
Over the past two centuries, global energy consumption has increased significantly as a result of population growth and industrial development. In order to keep up with demand and provide a steady and reliable source of energy, a shift from renewable to non-renewable energy had to occur. As a result, crude oil production has been at the forefront of the energy sector for several decades, and currently serves as the primary source of energy worldwide. With demand increasing consistently each year and oil reserves dwindling, the need to maximize oil recovery efficiency, and maintain equipment integrity in existing oil well systems, has become critical. The incorporation of surfactants, or surface-active agents, into these systems has proven to be efficient at increasing oil recovery, as well as decreasing the overall rate of corrosion on the process equipment.
In this study, novel surfactants were synthesized and characterized for use in enhanced oil recovery and corrosion inhibition applications. The compounds of interest were chosen based on commercial raw material availability and manufacturing capabilities currently achievable at The Lewis Chemical Company (TLC). Once the products were synthesized on a laboratory scale, their efficiency was analyzed using the following characterization techniques: interfacial tension analysis, linear polarization resistance, and gravimetric weight loss analysis. This information was then used to determine the most efficient and economical compounds for scale-up and batch production at TLC by using the statistical modeling software, Stat-Ease Design Expert 12.
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