The effect of biopolymer chitosan on the rheology and stability of na-bentonite drilling mud

Basim Abu-Jdayil, Mamdouh Ghannam, Karam Alsayyed Ahmed, Mohamed Djama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The utilization of greens resources is a grand challenge for this century. A lot of efforts are paid to substitute toxic ingredients of the conventional drilling mud system with nontoxic natural materials. In this paper, the effect of the natural polymer chitosan on the rheology and stability of sodium-bentonite drilling mud was investigated in the polymer concentration range of 0.1–3.0 wt.%. Both the shear and time dependent rheological properties of pure chitosan, pure bentonite and bentonite–chitosan dispersions were studied. Moreover, zeta potential measurements were used to evaluate the stability of bentonite-chitosan suspension. Adding chitosan improved the natural properties of drilling mud, namely: yield stress, shear thinning, and thixotropy. The viscosity of bentonite suspension increased significantly upon the addition of chitosan in the concentration range of 0.5 to 3.0 wt.% forming network structure, which can be attributed to the interactions of hydrogen bonding between-OH clusters on the bentonite surface with the NH group in the chitosan structure. On the other hand, dispersed chitosan–bentonite suspension was observed at low chi-tosan concentration (less than 0.5 wt.%). Increasing both bentonite and chitosan concentrations led to the flocculation of the bentonite suspension, forming a continuous gel structure that was characterized by noteworthy yield stress. The desired drilling mud rheological behavior can be obtained with less bentonite by adding chitosan polymer and the undesirable effects of high solid clay concentration can be avoided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3361
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2021


  • Bentonite
  • Biopolymer
  • Chitosan
  • Drilling mud
  • Rheology
  • Thixotropy
  • Yield stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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