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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2015, Article ID 743179, 6 pages
Research Article

Wettability Studies Using Zeta Potential Measurements

1Chemistry Department, Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University, P.O. Box 11517, Cairo, Egypt
2Department of Chemical Engineering, The Petroleum Institute, P.O. Box 2533, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Received 10 December 2014; Accepted 11 February 2015

Academic Editor: Tomokazu Yoshimura

Copyright © 2015 Ghada Bassioni and Syed Taha Taqvi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Wettability studies have been carried out on reservoir rocks using different techniques such as the Amott-Harvey method, the USBM method, and the contact angle method, all with limitations. In this study, the wettability is studied by discussing the surface charge using zeta potential measurements. The study relies on the finding that carbonated reservoir rocks, consisting of CaCO3 mainly, are positively charged and their surface has the potential to adsorb significant quantities of anions. Moreover, heavy fractions such as asphaltenes are reported to remain afloat depending on dispersive forces present in the oil and its various fractions. Experiments are carried out on aqueous limestone suspension with the addition of crude oil. The experiment is repeated with the use of polymeric inhibitors, A and B. The zeta potential is found to alter depending on the sequence of polymeric inhibitor in oil/water addition. The inhibitor is found to adsorb on the limestone surface, with a net negative charge, causing repulsion between crude oil and the inhibitor and, hence, preventing the deposition of heavy fractions and particularly asphaltenes. This study gives a comprehensive insight on the mechanism of polymeric inhibitor interaction with the surface and the effect of wettability on its performance.