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  • Lucas Evangelista

2021-2022 Enzyme treatment for the Enhanced Recovery of Crude Oil

Updated: May 29, 2023

Enzyme well injection treatment is an emerging enhanced oil recovery (EOR) method. Several studies have been conducted on enzyme enhanced oil recovery (EEOR) at the academic, laboratory and field-scale.

These studies have demonstrated the positive effect of enzyme application with additional oil production being observed in initial but restricted production, as well as both secondary and tertiary intervention phases. Enzymes are eco-friendly and they have the additional advantage of their catalytic nature. Enzyme production for EEOR implementation has evolved over the years with different types of commercial products tested and now available.

GreenZyme effect on attachment behavior of crude oil
GreenZyme effect on attachment behavior of crude oil

Enzymes are biological catalysts that expedite reactions that will otherwise proceed slowly without them. Naturally, all proteins have surface activity potential due to the presence of both hydrophilic and lipophilic groups within their molecules. Although, natural proteins are slow and inefficient as surface active agents, they can be modified into enzymes with more suitable amphiphilic compounds and augmented surface, polar activity.

Enzyme activity can be affected by diverse variables such system temperature, chemical composition of the environment such as pH, presence of other electrolytes as well as composition of the substrate. Enzymes, as globular protein, respond to change in their environment and they exhibit thermodynamically stability in aqueous medium due to their high hydrophilic nature.

These traits and the tolerance to different environments, gives the enzyme concentrate the detergency ability to displace oil by creating a positive skin in the rock, changing the attachment behavior to ultimately cleaning the rock surface from crude oil.

Enzyme, enhanced, heavy, oil, recovery,

Udoh, Tinuola (a); Lucas Evangelista (b)

a Chemical/Petrochemical Engineering Department, Akwa Ibom State University, Nigeria

b BTP GreenZyme, Austin, Tx, US,

Virtual Meeting & Panel Microbial EOR TCP

For his participation as speaker with the presentation “Potential of enzymes treatment for the enhanced recovery of oil” carried out on May 29th, 2021 in the online Meeting and Panel MEOR organized by IEA EOR TCP


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