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Dégradation mécanique de solutions de polymères et ses impacts en récupération assistée d'hydrocarbures

Abstract : Polymer flooding is a technique used in enhanced oil recovery; it consists in injecting high molecular weight polymer solutions in order improve oil sweep efficiency in the reservoir. However, polymer flooding is challenged by possible mechanical degradation of polymer solutions during injection and in the reservoir, due to the flow induced scission of macromolecules. This work aims at better understanding the scission mechanisms and scenarios, but also their impact on polymer flooding. We investigated the onset of mechanical degradation of poly(ethylene oxide) and partially hydrolysed polyacrylamide solutions, for different concentration regimes (dilute and semi-dilute regimes), under laminar or inertial conditions, but also under good or bad solvent conditions. The study of mechanical degradation of polymer solutions and their impact on the rheological properties was performed using different degradation devices and different rheometers, including a microfluidic extensional device; these investigation techniques were combined with measurements of the molecular weight distributions using size exclusion chromatography coupled with light scattering experiments. The study first shows that an extensional component is needed to get a mechanical degradation of polymer chains. The results also clearly show that the degradation mechanisms are very different in dilute and semi-dilute regime. In dilute regime, the mechanical degradation of polymer solutions does not dependent on flow regime and mainly affects the macromolecules with high molecular weights, with a mid-chain scission scenario. On the other hand, in semi-dilute regime, mechanical degradation depends on flow regime: in laminar flows, degradation is governed by the entanglement network and chain scission is random, whereas in inertial flows, chain degradation is similar to that observed in dilute regime, with the same mid-chain scission scenario. Besides, the results show that the extensional rheological properties can be very strongly affected by mechanical degradation. At last, the results of a preliminary study of the injectivity of a slightly degraded semi-dilute polymer solution in porous media show that mechanical degradation improves polymer injectivity near the wellbore.
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Adeline Dupas. Dégradation mécanique de solutions de polymères et ses impacts en récupération assistée d'hydrocarbures. Autre. Université de Bretagne occidentale - Brest, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012BRES0037⟩. ⟨tel-00830622⟩

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