Static decontamination of oil-based drill cuttings with pressurized hot water using response surface methodology

  • Zhong Chen
  • Dongyuan Li
  • Kun Tong
  • Zeliang Chen
  • Hongzhen Chen
  • Qiao Chen
  • Yuanjian XuEmail author
Research Article


Separating organic pollutants from oil-based drill cuttings (OBDC) is the current trend for its safe disposal. In this study, pressurized hot water extraction (PHWE) was adapted to decontaminate OBDC for the first time. Two typical OBDC samples, i.e., diesel-based drill cuttings (OBDC-A) and white oil-based drill cuttings (OBDC-B), were statically extracted in a homemade batch autoclave. Response surface methodology (RSM) with a central composite design (CCD) was applied to investigate the effects and interactive effects of three independent operating parameters (temperature, extraction time, and water volume) and to ultimately optimize the PHWE process. The results suggested that temperature is the dominant parameter, followed by water volume and extraction time. Interactive effects among the three parameters are present in the PHWE of OBDC-A but absent in the PHWE of OBDC-B. The suitable conditions for the effective PHWE of OBDC-A were found to be a temperature of 284–300 °C, water volume of 15–35 ml, and extraction time of 20–60 min. The corresponding conditions were 237–300 °C, 15–35 ml, and 20–60 min for the PHWE of OBDC-B. These different phenomena are caused by the different characteristics of the two OBDC samples. All of the polynomial models obtained from the RSM experiments are very valid and can adequately describe the relationship among the three independent operating parameters and responses. The experimental results also confirmed that PHWE is a more efficient separation technique for decontaminating OBDC than single organic solvent extraction or low-temperature thermal desorption because PHWE integrates the advantages of both these processes.


Petroleum contamination Hazardous solid waste Oily sludge Waste drill fluids Shale gas 



This work was financially supported by the Open Project Program of the State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Pollution Control (PPC2016001), the CNPC Research Institute of Safety and Environmental Technology, the West Young Scholar Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chongqing Basic and Frontier Research Projects (CSTC2015JCYJBX0120), the Chongqing City Social Undertakings and Livelihood Protection Science and Technology Innovation Special Project (CSTC2017SHMSA120001), and the Chongqing Land Bureau Science and Technology Planning Project (CQGT-KJ-2017026, CQGT-KJ-2014037).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Pollution ControlBeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Reservoir Aquatic Environment, Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent TechnologyChinese Academy of SciencesChongqingChina
  3. 3.School of Petroleum EngineeringSouthwest Petroleum UniversityChengduChina
  4. 4.Environmentally-Benign Chemical Process Research Center, Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology (CIGIT)Chinese Academy of SciencesChongqingChina

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