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Oilfield Glossary
Oilfield Glossary
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paraformaldehyde

1. n. [Drilling Fluids]
A commonly used preservative for starch, xanthan gum, guar gum and other natural polymers that are prone to attack by bacteria. It is as a trimer of formaldehyde and has the formula O-CH2-O-CH2-O-CH2. Paraformaldehyde is a white, water soluble powder. When added to a mud in advance of a bacterial inoculation and maintained, paraformaldehyde can effectively control many strains of bacteria. The amount or paraformaldehyde in a mud can be estimated by oxidizing it with sulfite into formic acid and performing an alkalinity titration, according to a procedure published by API.