Journal of Polymer and Biopolymer Physics Chemistry
ISSN (Print): 2373-3403 ISSN (Online): 2373-3411 Website: Editor-in-chief: Martin Alberto Masuelli
Open Access
Journal Browser
Journal of Polymer and Biopolymer Physics Chemistry. 2014, 2(3), 50-54
DOI: 10.12691/jpbpc-2-3-2
Open AccessArticle

Rheological Behaviour of Eco-friendly Drilling Fluids from Biopolymers

O.U. Nwosu1 and C. M. Ewulonu2,

1Department of Environmental Engineering/Industrial Safety, Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo, Nigeria

2Department of Polymer and Textile Engineering, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria

Pub. Date: August 27, 2014

Cite this paper:
O.U. Nwosu and C. M. Ewulonu. Rheological Behaviour of Eco-friendly Drilling Fluids from Biopolymers. Journal of Polymer and Biopolymer Physics Chemistry. 2014; 2(3):50-54. doi: 10.12691/jpbpc-2-3-2


The rheological properties of drilling fluids modified with three biopolymers – carboxylmethyl cellulose (CMC), xanthan gum polysaccharide (xanplex D), and polyanionic cellulose (PAC-R) have been studied. The effect of concentration of the biopolymers on the drilling fluid was also reported. The modified drilling fluids were found to obey Herschel-Bulkley rheological model. The fluids were also found to be pseudo-plastic with shear thinning behaviour. Polyanionic cellulose showed the highest shear rate and shear stress than carboxylmethyl cellulose and xanplex D. This can be attributed to the straight open long chain structure of PAC-R and its ability to interact with water, solids and with itself. It also acted as a better viscosifier because of the more negative charge it carries. Also, the formulation of biopolymer drilling fluid with bentonite has proven to improve the viscosity than that encountered in normal conventional drilling fluids.

rheology biopolymers drilling fluids natural polymers Herschel-Bulkley model

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  R. B. Watson, P. Viste, and J. R. Lauritzen, “The influence of fluid loss additives in high temperature reservoirs”, Society of Petroleum Engineers Conference Paper, 2012.
[2]  B. K. Warren, T. R. Smith, K. M. Ravi, “Static and dynamic fluid-loss characteristics of drilling fluids in a full-scale wellbore”, Society of Petroleum Engineers Conference Paper, 1993.
[3]  National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) manual, “Drilling formation”, Department of Drilling Chemistry, Ahwaz, Iran, 2002.
[4]  S. Z. Kassab, A. S. Ismail, and M. M. Elessawi, “Drilling fluid rheology and hydraulics for oil fields”, European Journal of Scientific Research, Vol. 57, Issue 1, p68, 2011.
[5]  Deily et al., “New biopolymer low-solids mud speeds drilling operation”, The Oil and Gas Journal, vol. 65, No. 26, pp. 62-70, 1967.
[6]  H. C. H. Darley, and G. R. Gray, “Composition and properties of drilling and completion fluids”, 5th ed. Gulf Professional Publishing, Houston, USA, pp. 66-67, 561-562, 1988.
[7]  J. L. Lummus, and J. J. Azar, “Drilling fluids optimization: A practical field approach”, PennWell Books, Tulsa-Oklahoma, USA, pp. 3-5, 1986.
[8]  J. F. Douglas, J. M. Gas-lorek, and J. A. Swaffield, “Fluid mechanics”, 3rd ed. ELBS with Longman, 1995.
[9]  American Petroleum Institute, “Drilling fluid testing procedure manual”, USA, 2000.
[10]  TEAP-ENIAgip Division, “Drilling fluid and waste disposal manual”, Nigeria, 2000.
[11]  T. Hamida, E. Kuru, and M. Pickard, “Rheological characteristics of aqueous waxy hull-less barley (WHB) solutions”, Journal of Petroleum Science and Technology, 69, pp 163-173, 2009.
[12]  T. Adam, Jr. Bourgoyne, E. C. Martin, F. S. Keithk, and Jr. Young, “Applied drilling engineering”, Society of Petroleum Engineers Text Book Series, Vol. 2, pp. 4082, 1991.
[13]  L. M. Zhang, Y. B. Tan, and Z. M. Li, “New water-soluble ampholytic polysaccharides for oilfield drilling treatment: A preliminary study” Carbohydr. Polym.44, pp. 255-260, 2001.
[14]  E. Lucas, C. Mansur, and L. Spinelli, Pure and Applied Chemistry, 81, pp. 473, 2009,
[15]  A. Przepasniak and P. Clark, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Conference paper SPE-39461, Lafayette, EUA, 1998.
[16]  A. Martins, A. Waldman, and D. Ribeiro, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Conference paper SPE-94287, Madrid, Spain, 2005.
[17]  N. J. Alderman, D. R. Babu, T. L. Hughes, and G. C. Maitland, “Rheological properties of water-based drilling muds”, in 4th International Congress on Rheology, Sydney, 1988.
[18]  M. V. Kok, T. Alikaya, “Rheological evaluation of polymers as drilling fluids”, Petroleum Science Technology, Vol. 21, Nos. 1-2, pp. 133, 2003.
[19]  M. V. Kok, T. Alikaya, “Effect of polymers on the rheological properties of KCl/polymer type drilling fluid”, Energy Sources, 27: 405, 2005.
[20]  F. H. D Outmans, “Mechanics of static and dynamic filtration”, Society of Petroleum Engineer Journal, 63: 210, 1963.
[21]  J. Mewis, J. F. Willaim, A. S. Trevor, and W. B. Russel, “Rheology of suspensions containing polymerically stabilized particles”, Journal of Chemical Engineering Research Development, 19: 415, 1989.
[22]  G. V. Chilingarian, and P. Varabutre, “Drilling and drilling muds” Development in Petroleum Science, 44, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2000.
[23]  M. N. Okafor, and J. F. Evers, “Experimental comparison of rheology models for drilling fluids”, SPE Western Regional Meeting, California, Paper ID. SPE-24086-MS, 1992.
[24]  T. Hemphill, W. Campos and A. Pilehvari, "Yield-power law model more accurately predicts mud rheology”, Oil & Gas Journal, Vol. 91, No. 34, pp. 45-50, 1993.
[25]  M. Khalil, and B. M. Jan, “Herschel-Bulkley rheological parameters of a novel environmentally friendly lightweight biopolymer drilling fluid from xanthan gum and starch”, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, Vol. 124, Issue 1, pp. 595-606, 2012.
[26]  C. O. Chike–Onyegbula, O. Ogbobe, and S. C. Nwanonenyi, “Biodegradable polymer drilling mud prepared from guinea corn”, Journal of Brewing and Distilling Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 6-14, 2012.
[27]  C. W. Hoogendam, A. de Keizer, M. A. Cohen Stuart, B. H. Bijsterbosch, J. A. M. Smit, J. A. P. P. Van Dijk, P. M. Vander Horst and J. G. Batelann (1998). “Persistence length of carboxymethyl cellulose as evaluated from size exclusion chromatography and potentiometric titrations.” Macromolecules 31, 6297-6309.
[28]  J. Kelly and J. John (1983). “Drilling fluid selection, performance and quality control.”Petroleum Technology, p889.
[29]  B. L. Browning (1967). “Viscosity and molecular weight.”In Methods of wood chemistry, Vol. 2. B. L. Browning ed., Interscience Publishers, New York, Ch. 25, 519-557.