Flow of nanodispersed catalyst particles through porous media: Effect of permeability and temperature

Authors

  • Amir Zamani,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4
    2. Now With Suncor Energy, Inc., 150-6th Ave., SW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 3E3
    • Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4.
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  • Brij Maini,

    1. Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4
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  • Pedro Pereira-Almao

    1. Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4
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Abstract

The proposed in situ catalytic upgrading of heavy oil to achieve an environmentally sustainable method for heavy oil recovery requires the placement of nanodispersed catalyst particles deep into the formation where it can accelerate the high-temperature upgrading reactions. In continuation of the previous work [Zamani et al., Energy Fuels 24, 4980-4988 (2010)], this paper presents results of several new experiments carried out to examine the effects of other parameters, including the connate brine salinity, absolute permeability, sand-bed temperature and particle concentration on the propagation of nanoparticles in porous media. The results show that lower permeability, increased operating temperature and higher particle concentration did not significantly affect the propagation of nanodispersed catalyst suspension through the sand-bed. Virtually the same filtration behaviour, displaying a rapid increase of effluent concentration at 1 pore volume injected to a steady concentration close to the inlet concentration was seen in all experiments. A classical phenomenological approach was used to model the macroscopic propagation behaviour of suspended particles in the porous medium. The model was successful in history matching the effluent composition profile observed in the experiments and the deposition profile obtained from post-test analysis of the sand-bed. © 2011 Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering

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