Development of Heavy-Weight Hematite-Based Geopolymers for Oil and Gas Well Cementing

Ahmed Abdelaal, Salaheldin Elkatatny*, Ahmed Mohsen Abd El Fattah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In the petroleum industry, ordinary Portland cement (OPC) is utilized for different cementing applications. Yet, there are some technical and environmental issues for the usage of OPC in well cementing. The technical problems include gas invasion while setting, instability at corrosive environments, cement failure while perforation and fracturing due to high stiffness and brittleness, and strength reduction and thermal instability at elevated temperatures. Moreover, OPC production consumes massive energy and generates high greenhouse gas emissions. This study introduced the first hematite-based class F fly ash geopolymer formulation that can be used in oil and gas well cementing. Different properties of the designed slurry and hardened samples such as rheology, thickening time, strength, and elastic and petrophysical properties were evaluated. Moreover, mixability and pumpability challenges of heavy-weight geopolymer slurries were investigated. Unlike most of the studies in the literature, this work used 4 M NaOH solution only as an activator that can reduce the overall cost. The results showed that increasing the hematite percentage significantly decreased the thickening time. The developed formulation fell within the recommended fluid loss ranges for some cementing applications without using a fluid loss control additive. A proposed mixture of retarder and superplasticizer was introduced to enhance the thickening time by almost 5 times. The compressive strength increased by 49% and the tensile strength was enhanced by 27.4% by increasing the curing time from 1 to 7 days. The improvement in both compressive and tensile strength with curing time indicated that the geopolymerization reaction continued for extended time but with a smaller rate. The developed slurry acted more like a power law fluid at low temperatures and more like a Bingham plastic fluid at high temperatures. The elastic properties of the developed geopolymer samples proved that they are more flexible than some cement systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14025-14033
Number of pages9
JournalACS Omega
Issue number15
StatePublished - 18 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to acknowledge King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) for permitting the publication of this work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)


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