Water-soluble complexes of an acrylamide copolymer and ionic liquids for inhibiting shale hydration†
Here, we report water-soluble complexes of an acrylamide copolymer and ionic liquids for inhibiting shale hydration. The copolymer, denoted as PAAT, was synthesised via copolymerisation of acrylamide (AM), acrylic acid (AA) and N,N-diallyl-4-methylbenzenesulfonamide (TCDAP), and the ionic liquids used were 3-methyl imidazoliumcation-based tetrafluoroborates. X-ray diffraction showed that compared with commonly used KCl, the water-soluble complex of PAAT with 2 wt% ionic liquid 1-methyl-3-H-imidazolium tetrafluoroborate (HmimBF4) could remarkably reduce the d-spacing of sodium montmorillonite in water from 19.24 to 13.16 Å and effectively inhibit clay swelling. It was also found that the PAAT–HmimBF4 complex with 2 wt% HmimBF4 could retain 75% of the shale indentation hardness and increase the anti-swelling ratio to 85%. 13C NMR revealed that there existed interactions between PAAT and HmimBF4. Moreover, the thermal stability of the PAAT–HmimBF4 complex is superior to PAAT, suggesting that this water-soluble complex can be used to inhibit clay and shale hydration in high-temperature oil and gas wells.