A Review on Foam Stabilizers for Enhanced Oil Recovery

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The application of foam in the upstream petroleum industry has gained significant interest in the past few years. Foam usage can mitigate challenges associated with the gas flooding; it simply reduces the gas's mobility, which could significantly enhance the sweep efficiency. Foam is generated using CO2 or N2 and stabilized by different materials such as surfactants, nanoparticles, polymers, or a combination thereof. The success of foam injection mainly depends on the stability of the flowing foam; the harsh reservoir conditions is one of the major challenges in this regard. Historically, surfactants have been used to generate and stabilize foams. However, recently, nanoparticles have gained attention due to their higher adsorption energy at the gas-liquid interface. In this paper, foam stabilizers such as surfactants, nanoparticles, and polymers are reviewed. Relevant advantages/disadvantages of different foam stabilizers and associated challenges are also highlighted. The results obtained in previous studies are discussed, and conflicting findings are highlighted and critically analyzed. Field applications of CO2 foam are also discussed in this Review. There are only a few field trials using surfactant stabilized foam. However, nanoparticle stabilized foam has not been tested in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5594-5612
Number of pages19
JournalEnergy & Fuels
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2021


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