Biodegradation of Oil-Based Drilling Muds and Production Pit Sludges

[+] Author and Article Information
R. E. Marks, S. D. Field

Department of Civil Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La. 70803

W. K. Wojtanowicz

Department of Petroleum Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La. 70803

J. Energy Resour. Technol 110(3), 183-188 (Sep 01, 1988) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3231380 History: Received March 02, 1987; Revised June 08, 1988; Online October 22, 2009


Biological degradation of oil-based drilling muds and production pit sludges are examined using batch reactors. Microbial populations from five different cultures were screened as to their capability of survival in degradation of the oils present. Two microorganism cultures, one developed from raw domestic wastewater and the other from a refinery biological treatment system, demonstrated superior acclimation degradative properties based on substrate utilization and oxygen uptake rates. No toxic or inhibitory properties of the wastes were observed. Biological treatment has the potential to satisfactorily biodegrade wastes for disposal according to recently established Louisiana requirements, and also as a preconditioning step prior to conventional dewatering techniques.

Copyright © 1988 by ASME
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