Conventional chemical additives used in controlling drilling fluid properties have a severe drawback on the environment and personnel safety. The commercially available additives are non-biodegradable materials and have negative impacts when released to the environment. Thus, there is a great need for new environmental friendly biodegradable drilling fluid additives that can help to control the drilling fluid properties with the least effects on the environment and the workers’ health.

This study investigates the introduction of biodegradable food waste product, which is Potato Peels Powder (PPP) to be used as environmental friendly drilling fluid additive. The effects of adding various concentrations of PPP on the chemical and the physical properties of the drilling mud (e.g. mud weight (MW), plastic viscosity (PV), yield point (YP), the filtration characteristics, and pH) were evaluated. The evaluation included conducting lab experiments with full-set measurements following the specifications of the American Petroleum Institute (API), such as filtration loss and corrosion control rate

The effects of adding different concentrations of the bio-enhancer additive (PPP) were measured and recorded using mud balance, a standard API viscometer, a standard low-pressure and temperature (LPLT) filter press, chemical titration, and other drilling lab equipment. Then, all results of PPP were compared with the properties of the reference water-based mud (spud mud) in order to assess and validate the effects of biodegradable additives and their effectiveness in optimizing the performance of water-based mud.

The results showed that PPP had a negligible effect on mud weight and solid content. However, PPP tangibly influenced the rheological properties in terms of maximizing plastic viscosity and minimizing yield point and gel strength. Also, PPP significantly improved the filtration characteristics by reducing the fluid loss and mud cake thickness, suggesting their applicability to be used as an excellent fluid loss control agent. Moreover, PPP additives resulted in increasing sodium chloride (NaCl); consequently, resistivity was reduced. Finally, PPP additives resulted in a reduction in alkalinity and calcium ions content (Ca++). These experimental results show that Potato Peels Powder (PPP) has the potential to be used as an alternative to some of the conventional chemical additives, and hence reducing the amount of non-biodegradable waste disposed to the environment, avoiding the personnel safety, and minimizing the drilling cost.

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