Oil Removal Technology and the Mechanism of Oily Cuttings by Silicic Acid Micromicelles
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A large amount of oily cuttings is produced in the drilling process when the oil-based drilling fluid is used. The oil and oil-soluble additives adsorbed on the surface of the cuttings may pollute the environment. In this paper the method of silicic acid precipitation and formation of silicic acid micromicelles is used to encapsulate oil and to remove oil from the cuttings. The authors analyze the influence of the stirring time and the solution pH on the oil removal efficiency. When the pH is 2 and the stirring time is 10 min, the oil removal rate is 96%. Research into the mechanism shows the successive formation of silicic acid sol and gel in the process of silicic acid precipitation. The structure of the silicic acid micromicelles is characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEA). The results of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) indicate the existence of the exothermic decomposition peak of the hydrocarbons in the range from 350°C to 500°C, which proves that the micromicelle inner phase contains oil.
Keywordsoily cuttings silicic acid micro-micelle oil removal rate scanning electron microscopy differential scanning calorimetry
This paper was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), within the project “Dispersion process and mechanism of multi-component nanoparticles in drilling fluids” (serial number 51104122).
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