Investigating the pore-scale mechanisms of microbial enhanced oil recovery Public Deposited

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  • Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery (MEOR) is a process where microorganisms are used for tertiary oil recovery. Numerous mechanisms have been proposed in the literature through which microorganisms facilitate the mobilization of residual oil. Herein, we focus on the MEOR mechanisms of interfacial tension reduction (via biosurfactant) and bioclogging in water-wet micromodels, using Shewanella oneidensis (MR-1) that causes bioclogging and Bacillus mojavensis (JF-2) that produces biosurfactant and causes bioclogging. Micromodels were flooded with an assortment of flooding solutions ranging from metabolically active bacteria to nutrient limited bacteria to dead inactive biomass to asses the effectiveness of the proposed MEOR mechanisms of bioclogging and biosurfactant production. Results indicate tertiary flooding of the micromodel system with biomass and biosurfactant was optimal for oil recovery due to the combined effects of bioclogging of the pore-space and interfacial tension reduction. However, biosurfactant was able to recover oil in some cases dependent on wettability. Biomass without biosurfactant that clogged the pore-space also successfully produced additional oil recovery. When analyzing residual oil blob morphology, MEOR resulted in oil blob size and radius of curvature distributions similar to those obtained by an abiotic capillary desaturation test, where flooding rate was increased post secondary recovery. Furthermore, for the capillary number calculated during MEOR flooding with bioclogging and biosurfactant, lower residual oil saturation was measured than for the corresponding capillary number under abiotic conditions. These results suggest that bioclogging and biosurfactant MEOR is a potentially effective approach for pore morphology modification and thus flow alteration in porous media that can have a significant effect on oil recovery beyond that predicted by capillary number.
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  • Armstrong, R., & Wildenschild, D. (2012). Investigating the pore-scale mechanisms of microbial enhanced oil recovery. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 94-95, 155-164. doi: 10.1016/j.petrol.2012.06.031
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Deanne Bruner(deanne.bruner@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-03-12T23:30:00Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 WildenschildDortheChemicalBiologicalEnvironmentalEngineeringInvestigatingPoreScale.pdf: 927872 bytes, checksum: c475cd822a2180e73d11339b871a2984 (MD5)
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