A viscosity study of charcoal-based nanofluids towards enhanced oil recovery

Ifeoluwa Akande, Tony Bridgwater, Petra J. van Koningsbruggen, Qingchun Yuan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research into nanofluids for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) has been carried out for more than a decade. Metal oxide nanoparticles dispersed in water are usually applied and the nanofluids can recover 8–16 % more of the original oil in place after or comparing to water flooding, while the oil recovery capacity of carbon tube nanofluids can be even better. Higher viscosities of nanofluids than that of water are one of the key properties that contribute to their good performance in EOR. This work, for the first time, prepared nanofluids from two charcoal samples as well as an active carbon sample for their possible application for EOR. The relationship of nanofluid viscosities with pH values as well as nanoparticle concentrations of the nanofluids was studied for their viscous behaviour in different shear conditions. Their representative viscosity data measured at 100 rpm were examined for the values of the so-called Dispersion Factor (DF). The determined DF values for the charcoal-based nanofluids are close to those of metal oxide nanofluids that have much smaller nanoparticle sizes. The highly porous active carbon nanofluid showed strong viscosity enhancement that is comparable to the values reported for nanofluids of carbon nanotubes. Due to their significant viscosity enhancement and carbon sequestration feature, the charcoal-based nanofluids are promising to be used for EOR.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122615
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Molecular Liquids
Early online date17 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


  • Charcoal nanoparticles
  • Charcoal-based nanofluids
  • Enhanced oil recovery
  • Viscosity enhancement


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