The non-biodegradable additives used in controlling drilling fluid properties cause harm to the environment and personal safety. Thus, there is a need for alternative drilling fluid additives to reduce the amount of non-biodegradable waste disposed to the environment. This work investigates the potential of using Mandarin Peels Powder (MPP), a food waste product, as a new environmental friendly drilling fluid additive. A complete set of tests were conducted to recognize the impact of MPP on the drilling fluid properties. The results of MPP were compared to low viscosity Polyanionic Cellulose (PAC-LV), commonly used chemical additive for the drilling fluid. The results showed that MPP reduced the alkalinity by 20-32% and modified the rheological properties (plastic viscosity (PV), yield point (YP), and gel strength) of the drilling fluid. The fluid loss decreased by 44-68% at concentrations of MPP as less as 1-4%, and filter cake was enhanced as well when comparing to the reference mud. In addition, MPP had a negligible to minor impact on mud weight, and this effect was resulted due to foaming issues. Other properties such as salinity, calcium content, and resistivity were negligibly affected by MPP. This makes MPP an effective material to be used as pH reducer, a viscosity modifier, and an excellent fluid loss agent. This work also provides a practical guide for minimizing the cost of the drilling fluid through economic, environmental, and safety considerations, by comparing MPP with PAC-LV.

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