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Title: Effects of Starch Blends and Processing Technique on some Properties of Biodegradable Polymer Drilling Muds

Affiliation: Food Science Technology Department
School of Engineering and Engineering Technology
Federal University of Technology, Owerri Imo State

Date: July, 2016

This research was carried out on “Effects of Starch blends and Processing Technique on some Properties of Biodegradable Polymer Drilling Muds”. Several biodegradable polymer drilling muds were prepared using starches from local corns and millet pregelatinized and blended by extrusion technique in the absence of any solvents or chemicals. The filtration and rheological properties of the new muds and three already existing muds were studied at 25oC-450oC temperature range and at 0.01-0.05g/ml concentration of each starch using filter loss method and viscometric method respectively. The biodegradation properties of the muds were studied with their respective starches using soil burial test method and plant growth method. The experimental results were also modelled using MATLAB software method of modelling. Experimental results showed that the new polymer drilling muds have excellent filtration control behaviours and thermal stability at all the temperatures. The three already existing muds showed thermal degradation at 250oC, 350oC and 450oC temperatures. The values of flow index were found to be less than 1.0 showing pseudoplastic flow behaviour of the muds. Consistency index, Shear stress and yield stress increased with increase in concentration. Viscosity decreased with increasing shear rate showing shear thinning behaviour of the muds. The highest percent weight loss of 65.70% and lowest percent weight loss of 10.34% were obtained with one of the new starch blends and one of the already existing starches respectively for biodegradability. The polymer drilling muds obeyed Henri Darcy and API models for filtration as well as power law and Herschel Bulkely models for fluid rheology. The results from Matlab model showed that the values of coefficient of regression, (R2) and the Sum of Squared Errors, (SSE) were respectively close to “1” and “0”signifying good fit for all the new muds. The behaviours of the muds showed that there is proximity between the Matlab‟s modelled results and the experimental results based on the already existing models.Therefore, the polymer muds containing the new starch blends are purer, more suitable and more environmentally friendly than the already existing muds. The new muds are therefore recommended to be used for drilling operations in all areas including high temperature and environmentallysensitive areas.