American Chemical Society
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Adsorption Properties of Triethylene Glycol on a Hydrated {101̅4} Calcite Surface and Its Effect on Adsorbed Water

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-08-11, 00:00 authored by Richard Olsen, Kim N. Leirvik, Bjørn Kvamme, Tatiana Kuznetsova
Molecular dynamics (MD) and Born–Oppenheimer MD (BOMD) simulations were employed to investigate adsorption of aqueous triethylene glycol (TEG) on a hydrated {101̅4} calcite surface at 298 K. We analyzed the orientation of TEG adsorbed on calcite, as well as the impact of TEG on the water density and adsorption free energy. The adsorption energies of TEG, free energy profiles for TEG, details of hydrogen bonding between water and adsorbed TEG, and dihedral angle distribution of adsorbed TEG were estimated. We found that while the first layer of water was mostly unaffected by the presence of adsorbed TEG, the density of the second water layer was decreased by 71% at 75% surface coverage of TEG. TEG primarily attached to the calcite surface via two adjacent adsorption sites. Hydrogen bonds between water and adsorbed TEG in the second layer almost exclusively involved the hydroxyl oxygen of TEG. The adsorption energy of TEG on calcite in a vacuum environment calculated by classical MD amounted to 217 kJ/mol, which agreed very well with estimates found by using BOMD. Adsorption on hydrated calcite yielded a drastically lower value of 33 kJ/mol, with the corresponding adsorption free energy of 55.3 kJ/mol, giving an entropy increase of 22.3 kJ/mol due to adsorption. We found that the presence of TEG resulted in a decreased magnitude of the adsorption free energy of water, thus decreasing the calcite wettability. This effect can have a profound effect on oil and gas reservoir properties and must be carefully considered when evaluating the risk of hydrate nucleation.