Study of the Potential of Sodium Carbonate Extracted From Trona as a Drilling Fluid Additive

Petrus Nzerem, Enyo June Adejoh, Oghenerume Ogolo*, Ikechukwu Okafor, Abdullahi Suleiman Bah Gimba, Ternenge Joseph Choir, Precious Ogbeiwi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drilling additives play a unique role during drilling operations, from aiding in the control of various drilling challenges to successfully enhancing downhole drilling efficiency. pH enhancers are amongst the plethora of additives imported into Nigeria at exorbitant prices to aid in drilling operations. These additives includes NaOH, Na2CO3, Ca(OH)2 etc. These additives are used to improve the mud pH and mitigates drill string corrosion. The high cost of importation of these additives, has warranted the need for product substitution which should take advantage of the locally available resources. This paper evaluated the suitability of locally-sourced Trona, as a mud additive in drilling mud. Trona is known chemically as Sodium Sesquicarbonate or Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate. A distinguishing factor in this research work was the purification of Trona by extracting the compound of interest (Na2CO3) from it using the monohydrate process. The purification method involved crushing and screening of Trona as well as calcination, filtration and evaporation processes. The analysis of the Trona and the extracted product was performed using quantitative analysis and characterization tools such as FTIR and EDX. Further experimentation was carried out to evaluate the effects of the extracted sodium carbonate on the mud pH, rheology, and density of the waterbased mud. The results were also compared to the results gotten from the addition of conventional Na2CO to similar mud samples. The extracted Na2CO was observed to increase the pH of the mud samples from 8.73 to 9.52 and the commercial Na2CO increased it from 8.73 to 10 and this value is still in the range of API standard. The pH enhancers from both sources also had effect on the mud rheological properties. This indeed showed that the extracted Na2CO from Trona acted as drilling fluid pH enhancer and hence possess the potential for usage in the industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-172
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Research in Africa
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2020


  • Drilling fluids
  • Monohydrate process
  • PH
  • Sodium carbonate
  • Trona, additives

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Study of the Potential of Sodium Carbonate Extracted From Trona as a Drilling Fluid Additive'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this