Surfactant Incorporated Nanostructures for Pressure Drop Reduction in Oil and Chemical Lines

Technology #30312

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The initial step of adding aqueous cerium nitrate to a non-polar solution with a surfactant to form reverse micelles for the synthesis of ceria nanoparticles, then the formation of nano-sized micelles, to finally an enlarged drawing of one micelle showing an aqueous precursor solution surrounded by coordinated surfactant molecules
Sudipta Seal, Ph.D.
Sameer Deshpande
Suresh Kuiry, Ph.D.
Patil Swanand
Managed By
Andrea Adkins
Assistant Director 407.823.0138
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Surfactant incorporated nanostructure for pressure drop reduction in oil and gas lines

US Patent 7,458,384 B1

Surfactant incorporated nanostructure for pressure drop reduction in oil and gas lines

US Patent 8,252,259 B2

The composition, method of synthesis and utility of novel surfactant incorporated nanoceria for the reduction of friction or pressure drops in oil pipelines and other similar processing structures

The chemical and petroleum industries utilize pipelines in order to transport their products over long distances. During this journey fluids being transported interact with imperfections on the pipe’s inner wall (a result of either the pipe’s manufacturing process or corrosion, abrasion and the like during use) causing friction or “drag”. The pressure drop generated interferes with fluid flow and creates bottlenecks within the pipeline, slowing product transport and increasing production costs substantially. The current method utilized to compensate for this pressure drop is the costly construction and staffing of booster stations which are used to increase oil pressure periodically along the pipeline. Additional solutions have been proposed, but these methods are inefficient, require substantial changes to current pipeline structures and fail to inhibit future corrosion of the pipe’s inner wall.

Technical Details

By introducing surfactant incorporated nanoparticles into the pipeline the invention greatly reduces the friction created at the interface of the liquid with the pipeline’s inner wall. One of the most important properties of a surfactant is a high surface to volume ratio. By utilizing surfactant incorporated nanoparticles you maximize this ratio and capitalize on the particles inherent predisposition to create self-assembling monolayers, greatly reducing the volume of surfactant required to treat long lengths of pipeline.


  • Requires substantially smaller volumes of surfactant to greatly reduce pressure drop complications
  • The nanoparticles are agglomerate free and suspended in a fuel compatible media
  • Nanoparticle production and implementation is both efficient and inexpensive
  • Significantly reduces the pipeline’s maintenance costs by slowing corrosion of the its interior walls


  • Long single or multiphase pipelines
  • Chemical and oil transportation

Additional Technology Numbers: 31441