The effect of organic acids and salinity on the interfacial tension of n-decane/ water systems

Amr M. Sayed, Kristian B. Olesen, Abdul Sattar Alkahala, Theis I. Sølling, Nayef Al Yafei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


We have investigated how a homologous series of straight-chain carboxylic acids with a cyclohexyl substituent in the opposite end of the functional groups impacts the interfacial tension (IFT) between decane (oil) and water. The employed method was the pendant droplet technique. We do not observe any striking effect of expanding the chain length: all acids reduced the IFT compared to water by approximately 20 mN/m. Additionally, the effect of changing the chemical character and the concentration of the cation in a series of brines where studied too, and again we do not observe a significant IFT impact. The only modification that significantly reduces the IFT is the modification of the anion from chloride to carbonate, a change that results in an increased pH and thus a transformation of the constituent acids from their neutral to their anionic form. This is expected to result in a reduced IFT because of the polar end of the surfactant is even more polar which alleviates the stress on the surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1047-1052
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019



  • Carboxylic acids
  • IFT
  • Pendant droplet
  • Salinity
  • Surfactants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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