A new covalent strategy for functionalized montmorillonite–poly(methyl methacrylate) for improving the flowability of crude oil
In this paper, a highly oil-dispersed polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) nanohybrid was synthesized via a two-step method. The first step was to graft a polymerizable nitrogen-containing quaternary ammonium (N-(4-vinylbenzyl)-N,N-dimethyloctadecan-1-aminium chloride) and a polymerizable ionic liquid (1-octadecyl-3-vinylimidazolium bromide) onto the montmorillonite clay (MMT) through ion exchange, and they were denoted as VB-MMT and VM-MMT, respectively. The impact of their chemical structures on the morphological properties of the resultant poly(methyl methacrylate) nanohybrids was are well discussed by different techniques such as FT-IR, Raman spectroscopy, XRD, HR-TEM, FESEM, TGA, contact angle analysis, and GPC. The study is focused on the effect of VB-MMT and VM-MMT on the properties of PMMA nanohybrids, and their performance on the apparent viscosity of waxy crude oil from Egypt. The experimental results point out that the PMMA nanohybrids decreased the apparent viscosity of the waxy crude oil and improved the long-term stability, which was superior to the conventional PMMA. Moreover, the 1% VM-MMT–PMMA showed an optimal value in apparent viscosity reduction compared with the other prepared materials. These results, along with XRD, HRTEM and contact angle analysis, were used to predict a new mechanism for the effectiveness of highly oil-dispersed nanohybrids in enhancing the flow properties of the waxy crude oil.