Caustic Soda is used in water-base muds as a source of hydroxyl ions to control pH. Caustic Soda, caustic, alkali and lye are all common names for sodium hydroxide (NaOH). It is a strong base which is extremely soluble in water and dissociates into sodium (Na) and hydroxyl (OH) ions in solution.
- Widely available and economic source of hydroxyl ions to control pH
- Concentrated chemical and very effective at small treatment levels
- Increases pH which reduces corrosion of steel exposed to drilling fluids
- Can be used in most drilling fluids
Typical concentrations range from .25 to 4 lbs/bbl depending on water chemistry and type of drilling fluid. In seawater a higher concentration of caustic will be required. Gulf of Mexico seawater requires 1.5 to 2 lb/bbl to precipitate all magnesium then convert the calcium to lime. When treating muds with lignite or lignosulfonate, typical usage is 1 sack of caustic for every 4 sacks of lignite or lignosulfonate.
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