An original SEC method to assess simultaneously concentration and hydrolysis of HPAM for EOR.

In the current condition of hydrocarbon production, future developments of chemical EOR (cEOR) productions require a specific attention to the monitoring of chemical additives. Polymer flooding or Surfactant Polymer flooding are among the most promising cEOR technologies: the polymer is used to viscosify the injection water in order to get a better mobility control within the reservoir. For those technologies, it would be very beneficial to be able to monitor easily the polymer along the process, from the injection to the back-production. There are different water soluble classes of polymers which are able to increase the viscosity, but the most common polymer used in these technologies is partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM). The most specific and accurate analytical methods to quantify the HPAM polymer content are based on specific amide group dosage. As a consequence, knowing the hydrolysis degree of the polymer chains is an important parameter to determine before doing the quantification. It is also a very important parameter in itself to determine the history of the polymer chains along the process. The amide group hydrolysis can occur in the reservoir, in the wells, in the surface process, depending of physical parameters, as pressure or temperature, and also of the residence time of the polymer. In addition, the hydrolysis rate depends strongly on the water pH of the geological formation. We have developed a new methodology for polymer concentration measurements by size exclusion chromatography coupled to an Ultraviolet (UV) and a Refractive Index (RI) detector. The simultaneous use of these two detectors allows evaluating the hydrolysis rate of the HPAM. As a consequence, it is possible by only one short time analyze to obtain a real HPAM concentration, considering the real amide chemical function remaining in the polymer.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Arinaitwe, E., & Pawlik, M.
    (2009). A method for measuring the degree of anionicity of polyacrylamide-based flocculants. International Journal of Mineral Processing, 97(1), 50–54.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Beazley, P. M.
    (1985). Quantitative determination of partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide polymers in oil field production water. Analytical Chemistry, 57(11), 2098–2101.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Halverson, F., Lancaster, J. E., & O’Connor, M. N.
    (1985). Sequence distribution of carboxyl groups in hydrolyzed polyacrylamide. Macromolecules, 18(6), 1139–1144.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Hunt, J. A., Young, T. S., Green, D. W., & Willhite, G. P.
    (1988). Size-exclusion chromatography in the measurement of concentration and molecular weight of some EOR polymers. SPE reservoir engineering, 3(03), 835–841.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Kheradmand, H., François, J., & Plazanet, V.
    (1988). Hydrolysis of polyacrylamide and acrylic acid-acrylamide copolymers at neutral pH and high temperature. Polymer, 29(5), 860–870.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Kolská, Z., Valha, P., Slepička, P., & Švorčík, V.
    (2016). Refractometric study of systems water-poly (ethylene glycol) for preparation and characterization of Au nanoparticles dispersion. Arabian Journal of Chemistry.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Levitt, D. B., Pope, G. A., & Jouenne, S.
    (2011). Chemical degradation of polyacrylamide polymers under alkaline conditions. SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, 14(03), 281–286.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Puis, C., Clemens, T., Sledz, C., Kadnar, R., & Gumpenberger, T.
    (2016, May). Mechanical Degradation of Polymers During Injection, Reservoir Propagation and Production-Field Test Results 8 TH Reservoir, Austria. In SPE Europec featured at 78th EAGE Conference and Exhibition. Society of Petroleum Engineers.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Shah, D. O.
    (Ed.). (2012). Improved oil recovery by surfactant and polymer flooding. Elsevier.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Taylor, K. C., & Nasr-El-Din, H. A.
    (1994). Acrylamide copolymers: A review of methods for the determination of concentration and degree of hydrolysis. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 12(1), 9–23.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Taylor, K. C.
    (1993). Spectrophotometric determination of acrylamide polymers by flow injection analysis. SPE Advanced Technology Series, 1(02), 130–133.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Taylor, K. C., Burke, R. A., Nasr-El-Din, H. A., & Schramm, L. L.
    (1998). Development of a flow injection analysis method for the determination of acrylamide copolymers in brines. Journal of Petroleum Science and engineering, 21(1), 129–139.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Smets, G., & Hesbain, A. M.
    (1959). Hydrolysis of polyacrylamide and acrylic acid–acrylamide copolymers. Journal of Polymer Science, 40(136), 217–226.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error