Adsorption behavior of anionic surfactants to silica surfaces in the presence of calcium ion and polystyrene sulfonate

Zilong Liu*, Pegah Hedayati, Ernst J.R. Sudhölter, Robert Haaring, Abdur Rahman Shaik, Naveen Kumar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)
129 Downloads (Pure)


Adsorption behavior of surfactants to rock surfaces is an important issue in oil recovery, especially in the process of surfactant flooding. The surfactant loss through adsorption to rock surfaces makes such process economically less feasible. Here, we investigated the adsorption behavior of anionic surfactants (alcohol alkoxy sulfate, AAS) onto silica with quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring. The results demonstrated that the surfactant adsorption followed the Langmuir adsorption isotherm. Up to solution pH 10, surfactant adsorption slightly increased with increasing pH. The higher pH leads to more anionic surface sites for binding with an anionic surfactant with the help of a calcium cation bridging. The amount of anionic surfactant binding also increases with increasing calcium ion concentration up to 50 mM. It was found that sodium ions were able to exchange calcium ions near the silica surface, which would reduce the affinity for surfactant adsorption. The effect of the polyanion polystyrene sulfonate (PSS) on the anionic AAS adsorption was investigated to learn the possible competitive adsorptions. Indeed, this was found. Upon addition of 50 ppm PSS to a 0.05 wt% AAS containing solution, the adsorption of AAS was reduced by about 85 %. The obtained results show the interplay of different interacting species affecting the overall degree of anionic surfactant adsorption to silica surfaces. Optimal tuning of the process conditions according to these results will contribute to a more efficient use of anionic surfactants in enhanced oil recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125074
Number of pages9
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • Enhanced oil recovery
  • Polyelectrolyte
  • QCM-D
  • Salt solution
  • Surfactant adsorption


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