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Hydrophobically associating polymers for enhanced oil recovery, part b: a review of modelling approach to flow in porous media.

Afolabi, Richard O.; Oluyemi, Gbenga F.; Officer, Simon; Ugwu, Johnson O.


Richard O. Afolabi

Simon Officer

Johnson O. Ugwu


Polymer flow in porous media represents an entirely different scenario compared to bulk flow analysis using viscometers. This is due to the geometry and configuration of the medium which is made up of converging-diverging flow paths. In this article, a review of the single-phase flow of hydrophobically associating polymers in porous media is presented. Hydrophobic association between these polymer chains have been reported to occur and vary under reservoir conditions (temperature, salinity, and ion concentration). However, under these conditions, the critical aggregation concentration of associating polymers has been observed to change and the extent of change is a function of the hydrophobe make-up of the polymer. The outcome of this would indicate that polymer injectivity and its oil recovery efficiency are affected. As such, an understanding of the mechanism, propagation and sustainability of these hydrophobic interactions in reservoirs remains a critical focus of research. This becomes even imperative as the in-situ rheological profile associated with the different flow regimes may be affected. A numerical approach to investigating the real-time hydrophobic interactions between associating polymer chains during flow in porous media remains the viable option. However, this would require modifying existing time-independent models to accurately predict the various flow regimes and the dispersion of associating polymers to account for hydrophobic interactions.


AFOLABI, R.O., OLUYEMI, G.F., OFFICER, S. and UGWU, J.O. 2019. Hydrophobically associating polymers for enhanced oil recovery, part b: a review of modelling approach to flow in porous media. Journal of molecular liquids [online], 293, article ID 111495. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 2, 2019
Online Publication Date Aug 8, 2019
Publication Date Nov 1, 2019
Deposit Date Aug 13, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 9, 2020
Journal Journal of Molecular Liquids
Print ISSN 0167-7322
Electronic ISSN 1873-3166
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 293
Article Number 111495
Keywords Enhanced oil recovery; Associating polymers; Porous media; Hydrophobic interactions
Public URL


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