Compositional modeling of dimethyl ether–CO2 mixed solvent for enhanced oil recovery

Young Woo Lee, Hye Seung Lee, Moon Sik Jeong, Jinhyung Cho, Kun Sang Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dimethyl ether (DME) is a compound first introduced by Shell as a chemical solvent for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). This study aims to investigate the efficiency of EOR using the minimum miscible pressure (MMP) and viscous gravity number when a mixed solvent of CO2 and DME is injected. Adding DME to the CO2 water-alternating-gas process reduces the MMP and viscous gravity number. Reduction in MMP results in miscible conditions at lower pressures, which has a favorable effect on oil swelling and viscosity reduction, leading to improved mobility of the oil. In addition, the viscous gravity number decreases, increasing the sweep efficiency by 26.6%. Numerical studies were conducted through a series of multi-phase, multi-component simulations. At a DME content of 25%, the MMP decreased by 30.1% and the viscous gravity number decreased by 66.4% compared with the injection of CO2 only. As a result, the maximum oil recovery rate increased by 31% with simultaneous injection of DME and CO2 compared with only using CO2.

Original languageEnglish
Article number406
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021 Jan 1


  • Chemical solvent
  • Dimethyl ether (DME)
  • Enhanced oil recovery (EOR)
  • Miscible gas
  • Water alternating gas (WAG)


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