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This content will become publicly available on April 11, 2019

Title: Computational Evaluation of Mg–Salen Compounds as Subsurface Fluid Tracers: Molecular Dynamics Simulations in Toluene–Water Mixtures and Clay Mineral Nanopores

Molecular tracers that can be selectively placed underground and uniquely identified at the surface using simple on-site spectroscopic methods would significantly enhance subsurface fluid monitoring capabilities. To ensure their widespread utility, the solubility of these tracers must be easily tuned to oil- or water-wet conditions as well as reducing or eliminating their propensity to adsorb onto subsurface rock and/or mineral phases. In this work, molecular dynamics simulations were used to investigate the relative solubilities and mineral surface adsorption properties of three candidate tracer compounds comprising Mg–salen derivatives of varying degrees of hydrophilic character. Simulations in water–toluene liquid mixtures indicate that the partitioning of each Mg–salen compound relative to the interface is strongly influenced by the degree of hydrophobicity of the compound. Simulations of these complexes in fluid-filled mineral nanopores containing neutral (kaolinite) and negatively charged (montmorillonite) mineral surfaces reveal that adsorption tendencies depend upon a variety of parameters, including tracer chemical properties, mineral surface type, and solvent type (water or toluene). Simulation snapshots and averaged density profiles reveal insight into the solvation and adsorption mechanisms that control the partitioning of these complexes in mixed liquid phases and nanopore environments. As a result, this work demonstrates the utility of molecular simulationmore » in the design and screening of molecular tracers for use in subsurface applications.« less
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
SAND-2018-3643J
Journal ID: ISSN 0887-0624; 663974
Grant/Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy and Fuels
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 32; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 0887-0624
Publisher:
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY
OSTI Identifier:
1444086