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Increasing subterranean mobilization of organic contaminants and petroleum by aqueous thermal oxidation

United States Patent

May 14, 2002
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Visit the Industrial Partnerships Office Website
In situ hydrous pyrolysis/partial oxidation of organics at the site of the organics constrained in an subsurface reservoir produces surfactants that can form an oil/water emulsion that is effectively removed from an underground formation. The removal of the oil/water emulsions is particularly useful in several applications, e.g., soil contaminant remediation and enhanced oil recovery operations. A portion of the constrained organics react in heated reservoir water with injected steam containing dissolved oxygen gas at ambient reservoir conditions to produce such surfactants.
Leif; Roald N. (San Francisco, CA), Knauss; Kevin G. (Livermore, CA), Newmark; Robin L. (Livermore, CA), Aines; Roger D. (Livermore, CA), Eaker; Craig (Alta Loma, CA)
The Regents of the University of California (Oakland, CA)
09/ 505,289
February 16, 2000
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.