Innovation of Purified Glycerol Palm Oil in Drilling Fluid System


The application of glycerol by-product of palm oil biodiesel industry in drilling fluid was carried out in this work. Glycerol will be utilized as a new alternative base fluid for Synthetic-Based Mud (SBM) and lubricant for Water-Based Mud (WBM). Due to the poor quality of crude glycerol from palm oil biodiesel industry, it needs to be purified before its physio-chemical characterizations can be tested and formulated further. An invert emulsion mud then developed using glycerol as base oil to study the emulsion stability, rheological properties, and the effect of thermal conditioning to evaluate its suitability for oil well drilling. The effect of glycerol as a lubricant additive in WBM on the mud lubrication properties, rheology, filtration loss, and its compatibility with other additives is also evaluated.

The preliminary tests result indicates that glycerol can be used as SBM in accordance with the API standard and also can become the reference for this SBM development and also has been proved to increase mud lubricating potential without affecting other properties of drilling fluid significantly which is very potential due to its environmentally friendly characteristics and low cost, since it may be obtained from an abundant raw material from by-product of biodiesel production.

Keywords: Glycerol; synthetic-based mud; water-based mud

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