Potential Application of Aluminum Oxide Nanoparticles in the Oil and Gas Industry

Document Type : Research Paper


Institute of Petroleum Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria


In the oil and gas industry, different kinds of nanoparticles have been studied and reported to enhance various oil and gas operations. In this review however, the focus is on identifying different applications of aluminum oxide (Al2O3) nanoparticles in the petroleum industry because of its various potentials. Al2O3 nanoparticle has been reported to be a good enhanced oil recovery agent that can alter rock wettability, reduce oil viscosity and reduce interfacial tension between oil and water.

Al2O3 nanoparticle militates against kaolinite mobilization during hydrocarbon production, improves rheological properties in drilling fluids, improves the quality of cementation during well installations, and improves engine performance and thermal efficiency in brakes. Al2O3 nanoparticle has the capacity to inhibit growth of microbes, it is a catalyst in crude oil refining, it eliminates asphaltene from crude oil and is used to detect water oil interface. In biodiesel, Al2O3 nanoparticle reduces emissions and enhances fuel consumption.