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Functionalized Clays for Downhole Oil and Water Swellable Sealing Elements

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000244228D
Publication Date: 2015-Nov-24
Document File: 1 page(s) / 13K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Clays bentonite laponite montmorillonite etc functionalized by oleophilic groups can be incorporated into the elastomeric material or in the core of the downhole sealing element Such sealing elements can be activated by both the natural groundwater or by the oil in the borehole

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Functionalized Clays for Downhole Oil- and Water- Swellable Sealing Elements

Clays (bentonite, laponite, montmorillonite, etc.) functionalized by oleophilic groups can be incorporated into the elastomeric material or in the core of the downhole sealing element. Such sealing elements can be activated by both the natural groundwater or by the oil in the borehole.

Clays are known to swell in certain brines. It is thought that the swelling mechanism is osmotic: water molecules penetrate into the galleries between the clay planes to equilibrate the concentration of ions. This results in exfoliation of clays. This mechanism also explains why clay may swell in one brine but be intact in another. If clay is functionalized by oleophilic groups, it can also be exfoliated by oil. Clay exfoliation in oil or in water can be used to activate swellable downhole sealing elements. Functionalized clays are commercially available.