Janus Nanoparticle and Surfactant Effects on Oil Drop Migration in Water under Shear

TXD Nguyen and S Razavi and DV Papavassiliou, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, 126, 6314-6323 (2022).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.2c03670

The effects of surface-active nanoparticles and surfactants on the behavior of oil-water interfaces have implications for a variety of industrial processes related to multiphase flows including separation processes, enhanced oil recovery, and environmental remediation. In this work, the migration of an oil droplet in shear flow is investigated with the presence of surface-active molecules and nanoparticles at the oil- water interface. Pure oil (heptadecane) in water and oil with the presence of Janus nanoparticles (JPs) and/or octaethylene glycol monododecyl ether, a nonionic surfactant, were examined using coarse- grained computations. The shear flow field was created utilizing a Couette flow, where the top wall of a channel moved with a specified velocity and the bottom wall was kept stationary. The dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) method was applied. The oil drop was placed on the stationary wall, and its displacement was recorded over time. When surfactants were added at the oil-water interface, the slip of the water over the oil drop was reduced, leading to a larger displacement of the drop. Moreover, surfactant molecules tended to concentrate toward the rear side of the oil drop rather than the front as the drop moved in the flow field. The presence of only JPs on the oil-water interface resulted in slower droplet migration. In the presence of both JPs and surfactants, the effect of JPs on the oil-surfactant-water system was investigated by changing the number of JPs on the drop surface while keeping the concentration of the surfactant constant. Under the same shear rate, the droplet's migration speed increased in the presence of both surfactants and JPs compared to the case of bare oil. The JPs appeared to follow a repeated pattern of motion while residing close to the solid substrate-oil drop contact line. These findings elucidate the contribution of both surfactants and JPs on oil drop displacement for enhanced oil recovery or remediation of an oil-contaminated subsurface.

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