Journal of Materials Science, Vol.55, No.29, 14137-14152, 2020
In situ fabrication of graphene-scaffold poly(acrylamide-acrylic acid-4-acryloylmorpholine) microspheres as a novel plugging agent for profile control
There has been growing interest in using nanomaterials to improve the comprehensive properties of polymer microspheres as plugging agents in the oil industry. Chemically functionalized graphene was prepared via water-phase direct exfoliation by cell fragmentation. The resultant graphene nanosheets were used to fabricate poly(acrylamide-acrylic acid-4-acryloylmorpholine)-based nanocomposite microspheres via in situ emulsion polymerization. Microspheres containing 0.3 wt% graphene (Graphene 0.3/terpolymer) showed high water retention and heat and shear resistance. Moreover, these microspheres exhibited improved nanomechanical properties, implying high dispersity and flowability in aqueous media. A rheology test demonstrated that the suspension of Graphene 0.3 /terpolymer behaved as a Newtonian fluid under high shear conditions, which indicated an improvement in the migration ability in the plugging process. The substantially improved comprehensive properties ensured a deep profile control and enhanced oil recovery of Graphene 0.3 / terpolymer microspheres. This research revealed that graphene can serve as a promising filler for fabricating high-performance microspheres in industry.