Exploring the role of nanocellulose as potential sustainable material for enhanced oil recovery: New paradigm for a circular economy

Ashvinder K. Rana*, Manju Kumari Thakur, Vijai Kumar Gupta, Vijay Kumar Thakur*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Presently, due to growing global energy demand and depletion of existing oil reservoirs, oil industry is focussing on development of novel and effective ways to enhance crude oil recovery and exploration of new oil reserves, which are typically found in challenging environment and require deep drilling in high temperature and high-pressure regime. The nanocelluloses with numerous advantages such as high temperature and pressure stability, ecofriendly nature, excellent rheology modifying ability, interfacial tension reduction capability, etc., have shown a huge potential in oil recovery over conventional chemicals and macro/micro sized biopolymers-based approach. In present review, an attempt has been made to thoroughly investigate the potential of nanocellulose (cellulose nanocrystals/nanofibers) in development of drilling fluid and in enhancement of oil recovery. The impact of various factors such as nanocellulose shape, charge density, inter-particle or inter-fibers interactions after surface functionalization, rheometer geometries, additives, post processing techniques, etc., which provides insight into the attributes of nanocellulose suspension and exemplify their behaviour during oil recovery have also been reviewed and discussed. Finally, the conclusion and challenges in utility of nanocellulose for oilfield applications are addressed. Knowing how to adjust/quantify nanocrystals/nanofibers shape and size; and monitor their interactions might promote their utility in oilfield industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1198-1222
Number of pages25
JournalProcess Safety and Environmental Protection
Early online date2 Feb 2024
Publication statusPrint publication - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

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  • Aqueous suspension
  • Nanocellulose
  • Polyelectrolyte
  • Rheology
  • Salt concentration


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