The effect of formate brines on the emulsification of ionic, non-ionic, and enzymatic surfactants

Linda Tatiana Lezama Viveros, Roozbeh Rafati* (Corresponding Author), Amin Sharifi Haddad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Environmental concerns on contamination of subsurface porous media by toxic chemicals have motivated the petroleum industry to replace them with environmentally sustainable (green) and biodegradable alternatives. Green surfactants have emerged such as sugar, enzymatic, and microbial based surfactants. However, their emulsification with different oils and salinity
conditions is unknown. In this study, different oil and brine systems are tested to measure interfacial properties, rheology and emulsification of Coco Glucoside (CG), a sugar-derived surfactant; and Greenzyme (GZ), an enzymatic-environmentally friendly surfactant. Emulsification with light and medium crude oil in the presence of sodium chloride and sodium formate brines gave similar results with 10-20 μm average droplet size. However, medium heavy crude oil with potassium formate produced 98 vol% emulsion with 3-6 μm average
droplet size. Most of the emulsions demonstrated a shear thinning behaviour apart from emulsions resulting from Coco Glucoside and medium-heavy crude oil in which a clear Newtonian behaviour was observed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number118016
Number of pages24
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Early online date16 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

The authors would like to thank BTP Solutions for providing the Greenzyme samples to perform the experiments, the School of Engineering at the University of Aberdeen for providing research facilities to conduct this research. They acknowledge the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) and the Secretariat of Energy (SENER) of Mexico for providing funding. The authors also need to express their special thanks to our Laboratory Technicians, Jennifer Freeman and Iona Copley for helping us throughout the way.

Data Availability Statement

Data will be made available on request.


  • Emulsification
  • Alpha Olefin Sulfonate
  • Coco Glucoside
  • Critical Micelle Concentration
  • Gibbs Energy
  • Formate Brine


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