“Proppants” for “Fracking”.

Numbers/Links:  WO2012151260 WO2012151091 US20120283153 

Applicants/Assignees: PREFERRED UNLIMITED and  BASF,

Gist”: Coating sand particles, using isocyanate containing compositions,  to be used as “proppants” for “fracking”.

Publication dates: all on 8-11-2012

Why it is interesting: The production of  natural gas and oil by hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” has increased exponentially in the last few years and will probably turn the US into the largest oil producer in the world in the near future.  This is big business.  Fracking is done by pumping a slurry of sand, water and a load of chemicals under high pressure into oil containing rocks to produce fractures and release gas and oil. Using sand has the disadvantage of being abrasive to equipment and causing ‘back flow’. Coating the sand makes it better flowing, less abrasive and more adhesive to rock.  The BASF case e.g. uses waterglass together with isocyanate as a coating composition.

Fracking (Wikimedia)

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