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The calcium carbonate (CaCO3) scale is one of the most common oilfield scales and oil and gas production bane. CaCO3 scale can lead to a sudden halt in production or, worst-case scenario, accidents; therefore, CaCO3 scale formation prevention is essential for the oil and gas industry. Scale inhibitors are chemicals that can mitigate this problem. We used two popular theoretical techniques in this study: Density Functional Theory (DFT) and Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics (AIMD). The objective was to investigate the inhibitory abilities of mixed oligomers, specifically acrylamide functionalized silica (AM-Silica). DFT studies indicate that Ca2+ does not bind readily to acryl acid and acrylamide; however, it has a good binding affinity with PAM and Silica functionalized PAM. The highest binding affinity occurs in the silica region and not the –CONH functional groups. AIMD calculations corroborate the DFT studies, as observed from the MD trajectory that Ca2+ binds to PAM-Silica by forming bonds with silicon; however, Ca2+ initially forms a bond with silicon in the presence of water molecules. This bonding does not last long, and it subsequently bonds with the oxygen atoms present in the water molecule. PAM-Silica is a suitable calcium scale inhibitor because of its high binding affinity with Ca2+. Theoretical studies (DFT and AIMD) have provided atomic insights on how AM-Silica could be used as an efficient scale inhibitor.





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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.