Application of Greek lignite as an additive for controlling rheological and filtration properties of water-bentonite suspensions at high temperatures: A review

Vassilios C. Kelessidis, Cassiani Papanicolaou, Antonios Foscolos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


This review paper presents the results of an extensive study investigating whether addition of 3% w/w Greek lignite to 6.42% w/w water-bentonite suspensions, after being exposed to high temperatures, can prevent gelation and control filtration characteristics. Two different bentonites and eight lignites from different Greek basins have been used while a commercial lignite product has been used as standard. The lignite-free bentonite suspensions heated to 177 °C for 16 h (thermal aging) thicken considerably, increasing the yield stress and the yield point. Fluid consistency and flow behavior indices also change while no significant change is observed for plastic viscosity. Thermal aging of the suspensions results in unacceptably high fluid loss values. Addition of Greek lignite to water-bentonite suspensions, followed by thermal aging, provided the rheological stability of the suspensions by maintaining the low yield stress/point regardless of the type of bentonite. Some of the lignites performed as well as their commercial counterpart. No specific trends for rheological improvement have been identified with respect to various characteristics of lignites such as contents of humic, fulvic acids, humins and other parameters such as specific surface area and cation exchange capacity. Furthermore, addition of lignite in most cases provided very good filtration control of the water-bentonite suspensions after exposure to 177 °C, with some Greek lignites being superior to the commercial product. The same lignite parameters examined for rheological control, were also examined to determine their effect on fluid loss of these suspensions for both bentonites. The content of humic and fulvic acids of two groups of lignites showed weak inverse correlations with the fluid loss volumes for both bentonites, while all other parameters did not seem to directly correlate with the effectiveness of the lignites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-400
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Geology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Drilling fluid
  • Filtration control
  • Humic and fulvic acids
  • Lignite
  • Rheology control
  • Water-bentonite suspensions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geology
  • Economic Geology
  • Stratigraphy

Cite this