In the article in C&EN's current edition, Senior Business Editor Melody M. Bomgardner explains that fracking or hydraulic fracturing involves pumping massive amounts of grainy substances, called proppants, down oil or natural gas wells.
Proppants enable production from rock formations 10,000 or 20,000 feet below the surface. To access the oil and gas in these deposits, they need to be fractured open with a mixture of fluid and proppants pumped down wells under high pressure. The grains literally prop up the fissures in these rocks so that oil and gas can flow to the surface.
The article describes development of a new genre of proppants to meet the needs of today's drillers. For wells that reach more than a mile down, drillers may need 10 million to 20 million pounds of proppants to get oil or natural gas flowing.
Drilling companies are going after more-difficult-to-access reserves of oil and gas that require tougher proppants. Some of the new materials, for instance, use high-tech ceramics like those used in aerospace and military applications or sand with each particle coated with curable resins.
Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
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To e-, or not to e-, the question for the exotic 'Si-III' phase of silicon
05.04.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
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