Experimental investigation of emulsified oil dispersion on bulk foam stability

Roozbeh Rafati (Corresponding Author), Opeyemi Kehinde Oludara, Amin Sharifi Haddad, Hossein Hamidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Recently aqueous foams have shown promising results to overcome viscous fingering and gravity segregation problems during gas injection process. However, one of the main challenges is the stability of the foams in the presence of oil bank at the front of injected foam. Oil can penetrate into the foam structure in the form of continuous phase or emulsions which might deteriorate lamellae and plateau borders that can result in bubble coalescence and foam rupture. The combination of the surfactant solution, responsible for stabilizing foams, with oil increases the potential for the formation of oil emulsions. In this condition emulsions stability and phase behaviour have the main influence on the bulk foam stability. The objective of this research is to conduct a comprehensive study on the effect of emulsified oil, at different concentrations and salinities on the stability of bulk foams used during oil displacement processes. This was achieved using a foam column test, in which foam is generated and its decay monitored with time. The half-life for each sample was noted and a comparison was made for different cases. Furthermore, changes in the foam bubble sizes and distribution were observed and analysed using an image processing software. A gradual reduction in the half-life of foam was observed with increasing concentration of emulsified oil. The degree to which a foam structure is destabilized by the emulsified oil droplets is dependent on the type and concentration of surfactant employed in generating the foam. At 2 wt% concentration of emulsion, the half-life recorded for foam generated by AOS surfactant, was 107 minutes, while for the foam generated by SDBS was only 39 minutes. Further analysis of the results showed a reduction in the number of dispersed oil droplets with increasing the salinity. In addition, the effect of increased salinity of the emulsion on foam stability was again found to be a function of the type of the surfactant is present in the foam system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-121
Number of pages12
JournalColloids and Surfaces. A, Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Early online date18 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2018


  • foam stability
  • emulsified oil
  • surfactant
  • foam texture
  • bubble size distribution


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