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research-article

Thermochemical Upgrading of Calcium-Bentonite for Drilling Fluid Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
Musaab Magzoub

Qatar University, College of Engineering, Gas processing Center, PO Box 2713, Doha, Qatar
m.magzoub@qu.edu.qa

Mohamed Mahmoud

Petroleum Engineering Department, College of Petroleum and Geoscience, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia; Center of Integrated Petroleum Research, College of Petroleum and Geoscience, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
mmahmoud@kfupm.edu.sa

Mustafa Nasser

Qatar University, College of Engineering, Gas processing Center, PO Box 2713, Doha, Qatar
m.nasser@qu.edu.qa

Ibnelwaleed Hussein

Qatar University, College of Engineering, Gas processing Center, PO Box 2713, Doha, Qatar
ihussein@qu.edu.qa

Salaheldin Elkatatny

Petroleum Engineering Department, College of Petroleum and Geoscience, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
elkatatny@kfupm.edu.sa

Abdullah Sultan

Petroleum Engineering Department, College of Petroleum and Geoscience, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
sultanas@kfupm.edu.sa

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041843 History: Received July 15, 2018; Revised October 16, 2018

Abstract

The rheological properties of bentonite depend on the chemical composition and the dominant element, such as calcium, potassium, and sodium. Na-bentonite type is the one used in drilling fluids, because it has good dispersion stability, high swelling capacity, and outstanding rheological properties. Ca-bentonite has bad rheological performance, however it can be activated by sodium to be used in drilling fluids. Many previous attempts of activation of Ca-bentonite were not feasible, upgrading required addition of many extra additives or sometimes mixed with commercial Na-bentonite to improve its properties. In this paper, a process of integrated beneficiation method is designed to efficiently remove the non-clay impurities and produce pure Ca-bentonite. An upgraded Ca-bentonite was produced using a thermochemical treatment in a wet process by adding 4wt.% of soda ash (Na2CO3) while heating and stirring. The new thermal treatment optimized and described in this study greatly improved the sodium activation and ions exchange process and improved bentonite properties. The thermochemically upgraded Ca-bentonite outperformed the rheological properties of the commercial bentonite. And when tested in a typical drilling fluid formulation at high temperature, the investigations showed an identical behavior of the commercial drilling grade bentonite. Moreover, the results obtained showed that the thermochemically upgraded Ca-bentonite has higher yield point/plastic viscosity (YP/PV) ratio than commercial Na-bentonite when mixed with the drilling fluid additives. Higher YP/PV ratio is expected to enhance the hole cleaning and prevent most of the drilling problems

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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