• adsorption;
  • microscopy;
  • oil and gas;
  • applications


Cationic polymers and anionic polymers were selected as a moderate water shutoff agent for water production control. Due to the adsorption of polymers on the sand surface, the adsorption capacity under static condition, in porous media, and adsorption morphology on mica were investigated through starch–cadmium iodide method, core flow test, and atomic force microscopy measurement. The adsorption quantity on the sand surface increased with the high polymer concentrations and long adsorption time. With the increase of temperature and shearing time, the adsorption capacity slightly decreased. In addition, the adsorption capacity under water wettability condition was significantly larger than that under oil wettability condition. Alternate injection of cationic polymer and anionic polymer caused larger adsorption capacity in the core test. An adsorption multilayer was formed through alternate adsorption of cationic polymer and anionic polymer confirmed by atomic force microscopy. The visual simulation experiment was also conducted to illustrate adsorption and enhanced oil recovery mechanism. The polymers preferentially entered the high permeability zone and adsorbed on the sand surface, thus enhanced oil recovery. Furthermore, alternate injection of cationic and anionic polymers as a moderate water shutoff agent was successfully applied for water production control in oilfield test. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 39462.