Effect of Temperature and Pressure on Wettability of Solids

by Prof. Zhenghe Xu, Southern University of of Science and Technology (SUSTech), Shenzhen, China 

Thermal recovery methods, such as Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), are popular in heavy/ultra-heavy oil (such as bitumen) recovery. After the heat from the steam is transferred by thermal conduction to the surrounding reservoir, the steam condenses while reducing the viscosity of heavy oil among the other things. Investigation on the wettability of a solid in a liquid by an immiscible liquid at elevated temperature and pressure is essential to understand the science of oil liberation from reservoir solid surfaces in heterogeneous systems involving oil-water-solid three-phase contact. Such study would provide insights on the thermal recovery methods of petroleum production. However, contact angle and interfacial tension measurements on such systems at elevated temperature and pressure are rarely reported. In this webinar, we report the results on contact angle measurement of bitumen (an extreme heavy oil) on hydrophobized silicon through water and interfacial tension of bitumen drop in water at temperatures up to 190 ˚C and pressure up to 200 bar.

Picture of Prof XuWebinar duration 50 min.

Zhenghe Xu graduated with B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Minerals Engineering in 1982 and 1985, respectively, from Central-South Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Changsha, China; and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering in 1990 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA. 

As a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta, Canada, Dr. Xu was Canada Research Chair in Mineral Processing (2006-2017), NSERC-Industry Research Chair in Oil Sands Engineering (2008-2017), and NSERC-EPCOR-AERI Industry Research Chair in Advanced Coal Cleaning and Combustion Technology from 2002-2008. In August 2016, he joined Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) in Shenzhen (China) as a Chair Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering and founding Dean of College of Engineering.

Dr. Xu’s main research area is interfacial sciences as applied to natural resources processing and utilization. He published 429 peer-reviewed scientific journal papers. More in detailed biography can be found here.


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