Development of Synthetic Ceramic Proppants from Geopolymer and Nanocarbon Materials

Reference Presenter Authors
04-093 Guilherme Frederico Bernardo Lenz e Silva de Campos, V.P.(Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo); Lenz e Silva, G.F.(Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo); Shale gas can be extracted through hydraulic fracturing, a technique that can improve both the level of production of oil and gas wells and the production in low permeability layers. In this technique, usually, 90% of water, 9.5% of proppant and 0.5% of chemical additives are used to extract these fuels. Synthetic ceramic proppants are commonly produced by sintering bauxite and / or kaolinite clays, in this case kaolin. This work presents a study on the synthesis and characterization of metakaolin’s based ceramic proppants (MCP) incorporating different types of nanocarbon materials and the synthesis and characterization of geopolymer based ceramic proppants (GCP). The method was based on the use of high intensive mixing of metakaolin with an alkaline solution of dispersed carbon nanomaterials. SEM analysis shown that dispersion of carbon nanomaterials on the proppant was very efficient and the presence of these materials were detect even after high temperature sintering process. Mechanical tests (crush test or K- value) indicated that sintered MCP presented similar characteristics of white sand natural proppants. Cured GCP and sintered MCP with nanomaterials were compared regarding their mechanical strength, sphericity and roundness.
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