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Production of synthetic based drilling fluid from palm oil


Abdul Habib, Nor Saiful Hafiz (2013) Production of synthetic based drilling fluid from palm oil. Masters thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.


The use of ester as a base fluid in synthetic base fluids (SBF) has become a trend in drilling operations due to many advantages compared to the conventional drilling fluids. The production of ester for SBF from vegetable oils is found to be the most successful invention in terms of environmentally friendliness and drilling costs since the vegetable oil is biodegradable and shows competitive performance as drilling fluids. The synthesis of ester as biodegradable base oil was conducted via transesterification reaction of palm oil methyl ester (POME) with 2-ethylhexanol (2EH). High oleic POME was used in the reaction. The selection of 2-ethylhexanol as the raw material is to produce the low viscosity but branched ester. The catalyst used in the reaction was sodium methoxide. Sodium methoxide which is a base catalyst proved to have better performance in terms of productivity and reactivity compared to many acid catalysts. The reaction was carried out at different temperatures (70⁰C to 140⁰C) and the vacuum pressure was fixed at 1.5 mbar. The reactant molar ratio of POME to 2EH was 1:1.5, 1:2 and 1:2.2. Since the reaction with 2-ethylhexanol only involves a single reaction, this transesterification reaction is considered as a single step reversible reaction; hence, the reaction was completed in a very short time. 98% palm based EHE were successfully synthesized in less than 30 minutes at 1.5 mbar pressure, 70⁰C, and 1:2 molar ratio of POME to 2EH. The analysis of the product (EHE) was performed using gas chromatography which was operated at an initial temperature of 80⁰C, held for 3 minutes then increased at 6⁰C/min to 340⁰C and held for another 8 minutes. The injector and detector temperature were set at 320⁰C and 340⁰C, respectively. This procedure provided a complete separation of the reaction products, palm based methyl ester and monoesters. The reversible rate constant of the reaction is negligible, thus the equilibrium constant of the reaction is the rate constant. The rate constant of the reaction (k) obtained from the kinetics study was in the range of 0.44 s-1 to 0.66 s-1. The activation energy of the reaction was 15.6 kJ.mol-1.The preliminary investigations on the lubrication properties of drilling mud formulated with palm based EHE indicated that the base oil has a great potential to substitute the synthetic ester base oil for drilling fluid. Its high kinematic viscosity provides better lubrication to the drilling fluid compared to other ester-based oils. The pour point and the flash point are superior for the drilling fluid formulation. The plastic viscosity, High Pressure High Temperature filtrate loss and emulsion stability of the drilling fluid had given acceptable values, while gel strength and yield point could be improved by blending it with proper additives.

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Additional Metadata

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subject: Vegetable oils
Subject: Green chemistry
Subject: Palm oil
Call Number: FK 2013 46
Chairman Supervisor: Prof RobiahYunus, PhD
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering
Depositing User: Haridan Mohd Jais
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2016 01:30
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2016 01:30
URI: http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/47573
Statistic Details: View Download Statistic

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