Interfacial tension measurements using MRI drop shape analysis

R. Hussain, Sarah Vogt, A. Honari, K.G. Hollingsworth, A.J. Sederman, J.K. Mitchell, Michael Johns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Accurate interfacial tension data for fluid systems such as hydrocarbons and water is essential to many applications such as reservoir oil and gas recovery predictions. Conventional interfacial tension measurement techniques typically use optical images to analyze droplet shapes but require that the continuous-phase fluid be optically transparent and that the fluids are not refractive index matched. Magnetic resonance images obtain contrast between fluids using other mechanisms such as magnetic relaxation weighting, so systems that are impossible to measure with optical methods may be analyzed. In this article, we present high-field (9.4 T) MRI images of various droplets analyzed with axisymmetric drop shape analysis. The resultant interfacial tension data show good agreement with literature data. The method is subsequently demonstrated using both opaque continuous phases and refractive-index-matched fluids. We conclude with a brief consideration of the potential to extrapolate the methodology to lower magnetic fields (0.3 T), featuring more accessible hardware; although droplet imaging is possible, resolution and stability do not currently permit accurate interfacial tension measurements. © 2014 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1566-1572
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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