Saudi Arabian Oil has been granted a patent for a carbonate microfluidic model with controllable nanoscale porosity. The model allows for the study of fluid behaviors in underground oil-reservoir environments. It involves the fabrication of a carbonate nanofluidic micromodel using polymer spheres and calcium-based and carbonate-based solutions. The resulting model has a transparent flow cell with an inverse opal structure containing nanoscale pores and a carbonate surface. GlobalData’s report on Saudi Arabian Oil gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Saudi Arabian Oil, AI assisted CAD was a key innovation area identified from patents. Saudi Arabian Oil's grant share as of September 2023 was 43%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Carbonate nanofluidic micromodel with nanoscale porosity

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Saudi Arabian Oil Co

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11776424B2) describes a carbonate nanofluidic micromodel with nanoscale porosity. The micromodel consists of a transparent flow cell with an inverse opal structure made of calcium carbonate, which contains numerous nanosized pores.

One of the key features of this micromodel is the inclusion of a filter at the outlet end of the flow cell, as mentioned in claim 2. This filter helps to control the flow of fluids through the micromodel and ensures that only desired substances pass through.

The transparent flow cell itself is made of demountable quartz, as stated in claim 3. This material allows for easy observation and analysis of the fluid flow within the micromodel. Additionally, claim 4 mentions that the transparent flow cell can also function as a micro-flow cell, indicating its versatility in different experimental setups.

The inverse opal structure within the flow cell is described in claim 5. It forms a three-dimensional network with interconnected voids, providing a complex and realistic representation of porous media. The size of these voids can be controlled within the range of 50 to 1000 nm, as stated in claim 6. This controllable characteristic size allows for precise manipulation of fluid flow and the study of nanoscale phenomena.

Finally, claim 7 mentions that the surface of the inverse opal structure can be made of either calcium carbonate or calcium-magnesium carbonate. This variation in composition provides flexibility in the design and properties of the micromodel, allowing for customization based on specific research needs.

Overall, this granted patent presents a novel carbonate nanofluidic micromodel with nanoscale porosity. Its unique features, such as the inclusion of a filter, demountable quartz flow cell, and controllable nanosized voids, make it a valuable tool for studying fluid flow and nanoscale phenomena in porous media.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.