Ecoserv provides a comprehensive range of land cleaning services, including the removal of tracer and proppant materials. This is crucial for cleaning up land after there has been industrial work performed on the site (particularly as relates to oil and gas), and reducing the environmental impact of that work.
But what exactly is proppant and why is it so important to remove it from work sites? Here’s an overview of what you should know.
Proppant is a type of gritty material used during the hydraulic fracturing process, also known as “fracking.” The particles are uniformly sized and get mixed in with the fracturing fluid, which helps to hold open the fractures that are created in the ground during the process.
As more oil and natural gas wells are being created and as companies look to get an increased yield out of those wells, the demand for proppants has increased. A single fracking job can result in the use of thousands of tons of proppants.
Types of proppant
There are both natural and manmade proppants. The former are usually sand, while the latter can include a resin-coated sand or a type of strong ceramic material. Any kind of proppant, natural or synthetic, will come in a range of sizes and shapes to allow them to be used in a corresponding variety of situations.
“Frac sand” is a proppant that features outstanding purity and durability. It has round grains, and is crush-resistant, which makes it very effective for propping open small cracks made in the ground during fracking. Most of the sand comes from sandstone that gets processed before being used for fracking purposes.
Resin-coated sand proppants are sand that has been coated in a resin to make the surface smoother and more uniform. The coating process also enhances its strength. Ceramic proppants, meanwhile, feature the greatest uniformity in structure and the highest strength due to the highly controlled nature of its manufacturing. It creates more space for oil and gas to flow through the proppant material.
Importance of cleanup
Fracking can increase the oil and gas resources extracted from wells, but can also have harsh environmental impact. There are toxic chemicals used in the process, including in proppants, that can cause damage to the environment.
Therefore, removal of tracer and proppant materials used during the fracking process can help to mitigate some of that potential damage to the environment, reducing the impact of the fracking process as a whole and allowing it to still be used as a viable method of oil and gas extraction.
For more information about proppant removal and the comprehensive services offered by Ecoserv, contact us today.