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Postdoctoral researcher: Understanding Surfactant and Polymer Adsorption

The project focuses on understanding the physico-chemical interactions during Enhanced oil recovery processes. Surfactant/Polymer flooding is one of the …

3 maanden geleden


Van der Maasweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 2588 - € 4084 per maand


The project focuses on understanding the physico-chemical interactions during Enhanced oil recovery processes. Surfactant/Polymer flooding is one of the mechanisms used to enhance oil recovery from the oil reservoirs. Surfactants mainly reduce the oil-water interfacial tension, thus increase oil mobility and allow better displacement of oil by injected water. On the other hand, polymers mainly increase the viscosity of the injected water, resulting in a stabilized flood front and improved sweep. One of the main drawbacks in these processes is the loss of surfactants and polymers (due to adsorption) to reservoir rocks. Therefore, there is a need to understand the reasons behind this loss and thus increase the economic value.

The postdoctoral candidate will perform systematic experiments to understand the interaction of the solution cocktail (solvent-ions, surfactants and polymers) with various rock surfaces. Quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) and Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) will be used at high pressure high temperature (HPHT) conditions as the analytical tools for our investigation. The adsorption will be studied at various brine conditions. The research is performed in close collaboration with Shell, Amsterdam.


We are looking for excellent candidates with the following qualifications:

• PhD degree in Chemical Engineering/ applied physics/ chemistry or a closely related field.

• Strong background in surfactants and polymers.

• Significant experience in experimental techniques, e.g. AFM, QCM, SEM(-EDX), light microscopies.

• Experience with sample preparation techniques for microscopy.

• Previous experience with force spectroscopy using AFM and/or knowledge of Enhanced oil recovery processes would be advantageous.

• Prepare scientific papers and conference communications.

• Good communication skills and the ability to work in a team are essential.


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Ms. E.M.P. Arkesteijn, management assistant, e-mail: e.m.p.arkesteijn@tudelft.nl or telephone number: +31 15 27 83516. If you are interested in this position, plesae send a detailed CV along with a letter of application by 4 June 2018 to Ms. Els Arkesteijn, e-mail: e.m.p.arkesteijn@tudelft.nl.
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number TNWCE18-033.