Enhanced Oil Recovery Chips

To study Thermal, Chemical and Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery, and their effectiveness, the most accurate way is to use a physical rock. However, the use of rocks have several major drawbacks. Lab-on-a-chip technology makes it possible to create surrogate rocks to conduct experiments. Therefore, Micronit has developed three types of Enhanced Oil Recovery chips together with our leading industrial partners. These chips can be used for research into Enhanced Oil Recovery, reservoir engineering and the environment. The chips in our webstore contain either a uniform, random or a physical rock structure network. The EOR chips are manufactured in Borosilicate glass because this offers many benefits including:

  • Optically clear for flow visualization
  • Restrictive two dimensional geometry , so called Hele Shaw Cells, for improved observation
  • Controlled definition of rock pore structures through lithographic production techniques
  • Pores, channels and the interconnection of varying dimensions accurately reproduced

Micronit’s three standard EOR chips are:

Enhanced Oil Recovery Chip with a random rock pore network

The EOR.RN Chip with a random network containing interconnections and dead ends of various sizes, which are omnipresent in physical rock formations. The inset of figure 1 shows a close-up of the network, including some dead ends.

Figure 1: An example of a random rock pore structure chip, used for CEOR and MEOR enhanced oil recovery experiments.
Enhanced Oil Recovery chip with a random network.
Close-up Enhanced Oil Recovery chip with random network
3-pack of Enhanced Oil Recovery chips with a random network.

Enhanced Oil Recovery Chip with a uniform rock pore network

The EOR.UN Chip is compatible with applications where it is interesting to create more artificial rocks. For example, to study the effect of different surfactants on oil recovery efficiency, it can be beneficial to have a well-defined rock pore network as seen in figure 2. In this example all pore structures and interconnecting channels have equal dimensions. Such systematically organized rock pore structures are also often used to study microbes mobility in MEOR applications.

Figure 2: A systematically organized and well-defined rock-pore structure of equally sized pores and channels.
Enhanced Oil Recovery chip with uniform network
Close-up of a uniform network on an Enhanced Oil Recovery chip.
3-pack Enhanced Oil Recovery chips with a uniform network.

Enhanced Oil Recovery Chip with a physical rock pore network

The EOR.PR Chip comes closest to mimicking a rock. This is done by using limestone features that have been scanned and digitized to create a the physical rock pore chip shown in figure 3. The smooth features are maintained and these can be beneficial to study MEOR or CEOR effects in this type of structure.

Figure 3: A pseudo limestone rock-pore design with pores and channel created from digitized scans of physical limestone rocks.
Enhanced Oil Recovery chip with a physical rock network structure.
Close-up of the Physical rock network in an Enhanced Oil Recovery chip.
3-pack of Enhanced Oil Recovery chips with a physical rock network.

Tailored Enhanced Oil Recovery Solutions

In case you need a specific solution for your requirements, just let us know. We have many years of experience in EOR applications, so can rapidly create tailored EOR solutions. This can range from simple changes in depth for the existing designs, to a custom replication of a different type of rock formation. Please feel free to contact us about the possibilities of this technology.

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