Oil production

Recovery rate in tertiary oil production with surface active substances

The recovery rate refers to the actually retrieved portion of the total amount of crude oil available at the site of an oil field. In order to increase this portion, the efficiency of so-called tertiary production needs to be improved if relatively simple measures like the injection of water or gas (secondary production) do not lead to any satisfactory increase in the recovery rate. With tertiary production (“Enhanced Oil Recovery“ EOR), special measures are taken to further improve recovery from an oil source. An important method of EOR is the injection of aqueous solutions in connection with surface active materials (surfactants).

With the LAUDA Scientific drop volume tensiometer TVT 2, along with the surface tension of liquids, the interfacial tension between oil and the rinsing agent can be specified precisely. Here, the dynamic, drop-age-dependent interfacial tension (IT) can be determined down to 0.1 mN/m from the volume of rising crude oil drops. The IT is a measure of the emulsifiability of the oil and thus of the oil‘s capacity to absorb the rinsing agent. The aim here is to adapt the agent in such a way that the crude oil separates significantly more easily from the solid matter (rocks or similar) and moves more freely through the often very narrow hollow subterranean passages as an emulsion. With the TVT 2, measurements between approx. 60 and 70 °C can be made, which often correspond to the conditions within the drill hole.

Recommended standard

  • ISO 9101
    Surface active agents – Determination of interfacial tension – Drop volume method

Recommended equipment

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PC-controlled TVT 2 drop volume tensiometer with RE 415 S thermostat and reverse measuring set for rising drops, various syringes and needles for surface and interfacial tension oil measurements


TVT 2 with:

  • Syringe 2.5 ml
  • Needle 1.039 mm
  • Software for Windows PC
  • Reverse measuring set
  • Thermostat with Pt100 probe and RS 232 interface
  • Syringes 5 ml and 1 ml
  • Standard needles set

Request consulting

Applications Lubricants, oils and fuels

Lubricants and fuels

Viscosity index and kinematic viscosities of SAE/ISO motor oils

Insulating oils

Kinematic viscosity and interfacial tension of transformer oils

Oil transport

Pumpability of crude oils (record of viscosity temperature characteristics)

Waxes, resins, silicone and polyols

Absolute, kinematic, and dynamic viscosities of highly viscous liquids