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Common Challenges in Solids Control and How to Overcome Them

May 30, 2023

Efficient solids control is vital in various industries, such as oil and gas, mining, and construction, to ensure smooth operations and minimize environmental impact. However, solids control processes often face certain challenges that can impede their effectiveness. In this blog post, we will explore some common challenges in solids control and provide effective strategies to overcome them.
Challenge 1: High Mud Viscosity

High mud viscosity is a common challenge in solids control, and it can lead to poor separation efficiency and increased wear on equipment.
Solution: One effective strategy to overcome high mud viscosity is to implement chemical additives. Certain additives, such as deflocculants and thinners, can reduce the viscosity of the drilling fluid, improving its flow properties and enhancing the separation process. Additionally, optimizing the shear rate and ensuring proper mixing can also help in reducing viscosity.
Challenge 2: Screen Blinding and Blockage

Screen blinding and blockage occur when solid particles accumulate on the surface of the screens, reducing the screening efficiency and causing equipment malfunctions.
Solution: Regularly inspecting and cleaning the screens is crucial to prevent blinding and blockage. Additionally, implementing proper screen selection based on the specific solids and particle size distribution can improve the solids control process. Some advanced technologies, such as self-cleaning screens or screens with improved anti-blinding properties, can also be employed to mitigate this challenge.
Challenge 3: Excessive Mud Loss

Excessive mud loss can occur due to improper sealing or malfunctioning equipment, leading to increased operational costs and potential environmental hazards.
Solution: To overcome excessive mud loss, it is essential to conduct regular maintenance and inspections of equipment, including shakers, mud tanks, and centrifuges, to ensure proper sealing and prevent leakage. Implementing effective mud recycling systems can also help minimize mud loss and preserve valuable drilling fluid.
Challenge 4: High Solids Content in Discharged Effluent

High solids content in discharged effluent poses environmental risks and may violate regulatory requirements.
Solution: To tackle this challenge, employing efficient solids control equipment, such as centrifuges and desilters, can enhance the separation process and reduce the solids content in the discharged effluent. Additionally, optimizing the use of chemical additives can aid in enhancing separation efficiency and achieving compliance with environmental regulations.
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