Fast Screening of Polymer Solutions for the Application in Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)

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Synthetic polymers such as partially hydrolysed polyacrylamide (HPAM) are the most commonly used synthetic polymers for enhanced oil recovery applications. The implementation of polymer EOR methods is challenging, since polymer solutions exhibit non-Newtonian behaviour. This means, that the viscosity of the solution varies depending on the shear rate and extensional rate. Consequently, during the injection of a polymer solution into a porous media the pressure drop across the system is dependent on the injection rate. Screening polymer solutions is time consuming when it is conducted in rock core plugs. In order to remedy this issue we utilize microfluidic devices, which allow for quick and simple execution of flooding experiments, while the material usage is minimal.

In this thesis work, the student conducts single-phase flooding experiments in microchips in order to investigate polymer solution behaviour. Several different polymers are under investigation, which have varying molecular weight and chemical composition. Subsequently the student conducts data processing. This includes conversion of pressure data to viscosity data and application of different models for fitting of the gathered data. The student will also include data from the rotational rheometer into the evaluation.


  1. Preparation of a comprehensive review on the rheological behavior of synthetic polymers for EOR applications.
  2. Literature review of the fitting models that may be applied to the rheological of polymer solutions.
  3. Execution of four single-phase flooding experiments in GSG-micromodels at reservoir temperature.
  4. Data processing and model fitting.
  5. Evaluation of the applicability of the models which are applied to the rheological data.
  6. Preparation of a comprehensive thesis report.


Nils Langanke