Discerning the Contribution of Morphology and Chemistry in Wettability Studies
AuthorSloyan, Karen; Lai, Chia-Yun; Lu, Jin-You; Alfakes, Boulos; Al Hassan, Saeed; Almansouri, Ibraheem; Dahlem, Marcus S; Chiesa, Matteo
The wetting behavior of homogeneous systems is now well understood at the macroscopic scale. However, this understanding offers little predictive power regarding wettability when mesoscopic chemical and morphological heterogeneities come into play. The fundamental interest in the effect of heterogeneity on wettability is derived from its high technological relevance in several industries, including the petroleum industry where wettability is recognized as a key determinant of the overall efficiency of the water-flooding-based enhanced oil recovery process. Here, we demonstrate the use of the atomic force microscopy force curve measurements to distinguish the roles of chemistry and morphology in the wetting properties of rock formations, thus providing a clear interpretation and deeper insight into the wetting behavior of heterogeneous formations. Density functional theory calculations further prove the versatility of our approach by establishing benchmarks on ideal surfaces that differ in chemistry and morphology in a predefined manner.
This document is the unedited Author’s version of a Submitted Work that was subsequently accepted for publication in Journal of Physical Chemistry A, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review. To access the final edited and published work see https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpca.8b04197.