The aim of the project is to increase our understanding of how wettability can be affected through microbial linked mechanisms. Oil tolerant or oil degrading single cell species will be tested towards their ability to change the surface wetting conditions. The properties of biomass and the effect on wettability will be studied in flow models, capillary tube models or in columns. To better understand the microbial effects, short and long term growth kinetic studies will be performed and accompanied with further development of an existing reservoir model. Consumption and production rates will be provided along with more thorough studies of microbial growth interactions between water, oil and the solid surface.
The wettability will be determined by examining surface chemistry and the interacting mechanisms of polarity, ionic strength, surface precipitation and surface structure. The interacting mechanisms are addressed using tests on different surfaces with or without the presence of a biofilm. The biofilm will be characterized by measuring growth pattern, adherence and surface charge.
The capillary forces that hold oil in place are dependent on pore size, IFT and the surface wettability. Capillary tubes with different diameters, and surface charges will be tested in at stagnant and a flow experimental conditions. The biomass and biofilm growth effect on the IFT and the surface wettability will be studied.
Long term microbial growth experiments will be conducted, to examine chemical consumption and production in a column packed using granules with defined surface charges.
Further development of a simulation tool which can be used to obtain quantitative estimation of microbial growth in the reservoir subjected to various externally introduced stimulating agents and to predict potential effects of the microbial activity on oil mobilisation.