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Silicate Scaling Formation: Impact of pH in High-Temperature Reservoir and Its Characterization Study

1School of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA, 40450, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia

2Flow Assurance and Scale Team (FAST), Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, UK EH14 4AS, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

3School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS), Heriot-Watt University, UK EH14 4AS, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Received: 23 Jul 2022; Revised: 12 Sep 2022; Accepted: 12 Sep 2022; Available online: 21 Sep 2022; Published: 30 Sep 2022.
Editor(s): Istadi Istadi
Open Access Copyright (c) 2022 by Authors, Published by BCREC Group
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Silicate scaling tends to form and be aggravated during high pH Alkaline Surfactant Polymer (ASP) floods and this silicate scale deposition affects oil production. Hence, it is important to examine the conditions that lead to silicate scale forming. The severity of the silicate scaling reaction, the type and morphology of silica/silicate scale formed in an experimental ASP flood were studied for pH values 5, 8.5, and 11, whilst the temperature was kept constant at 90 ℃. In addition, the impact of calcium ion was studied and spectroscopic analyses were used to identify the extent of scaling reaction, morphology type and the functional group present in the precipitates. This was performed using imagery of the generated precipitates. It was observed that the silica/silicate scale is most severe at the highest pH and Ca:Mg molar ratios examined. Magnesium hydroxide and calcium hydroxide were observed to precipitate along with the silica and Mg-silicate/Ca-silicate scale at pH 11. The presence of calcium ions altered the morphology of the precipitates formed from amorphous to microcrystalline/crystalline. In conclusion, pH affects the type, morphology, and severity of the silica/silicate scale produced in the studied scaling system. The comprehensive and conclusive data showing how pH affects the silicate scaling reaction reported here are vital in providing the foundation to further investigate the management and prevention of this silicate scaling. Copyright © 2022 by Authors, Published by BCREC Group. This is an open access article under the CC BY-SA License (

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Keywords: Silicate scale; Alkaline Surfactant Polymer Flooding (ASP); Amorphous silica scale; Metal silicates; Scale Morphology Maximum
Funding: Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) under contract Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (UiTM reference no: 600-IRMI/FRGS 5/3 (411/2019) & MyGrant reference code: FRGS/1/2019/TK07/UITM/02/10)

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