CMC (Carboxymethyl cellulose) is a white and fine powder formed by reacting cellulose with sodium hydroxide and monochloroacetic acid, forming CMC salt. It is one of the essential water-soluble polymers that offers many benefits that typical synthetic and natural glues don’t offer.
The powder is mold-proof, tasteless, non-flammable, non-toxic, and easily dissolves in water. CMC solution is transparent and has a high viscosity. The solution is well known for its thickening, emulsifying, membrane forming, adhering, moisture-holding, dispersing, and stabilizing properties.
It is preferred in industrial applications for its:
- Resistance to temperature change and salt
- Incredible rheological property
- Exemplary thickening effect
- Water retention even in low concentration
CMC is a drilling mud additive primarily used to prevent fluid loss. It is also used as a natural binder in mining industries, but let’s focus on how it enhances operations in the drilling industry.
Application of Carboxymethyl Cellulose in Drilling
The viscosity and water loss prevention power of CMC makes it a popular choice in thickening drilling muds. Drilling mud or drilling fluid is used to enhance the drilling of boreholes into the earth. Often, you’ll find the application of drilling mud in the drilling of natural gas, oil, and water wells..
The drilling muds are often found in drilling areas where water is unavailable continuously. In such cases, salts’ solubility is essential, and CMC keeps the salt soluble.
Adding drilling mud additives like CMC to drilling fluids can prevent catastrophic situations like bore collapse or well blockages during production since it strengthens the drilling fluid. The best thing is that you can adjust the usage of CMC. However, it is advisable to seek advice from an expert if any adjustment is required.
Polyanionic Cellulose- An Alternative to Carboxymethyl Cellulose
Polyanionic cellulose (PAC) is a cellulose polymer with the same molecular structure as CMC. They are both used in the same industrial applications, but PAC is widely preferred due to its high degree of substitution and lower concentration of sodium chloride. This makes PAC better than CMC in terms of anti-collapse, anti-salt, high-temperature resistance, and filtration.
Storage and safety precautions
Since CMC can absorb water easily when exposed to moisture, it’s advisable to store it in a cool, dry, ventilated place. Use it immediately after opening it or seal it tightly if you can’t use it all at once.
If you’re working with CMC at a drilling site, ensure you put on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including eye protection and dust masks, when combining these powdered products.
Shop Quality CMC and PAC from Bisley International
At Bisley, we know you need quality products for your mining and oilfield projects. Therefore, we supply PACs and CMCs with different specifications and purities. You can use these products to manufacture adhesives, detergents, dyes, and as flocculants in mineral processing. Contact us today to discuss your project and discover how we can help you achieve the desired outcome.
Check our Raw Materials Range Guide of Fluid Loss Additives & Viscosifiers