Flowback of proppant materials
A collaboration between Swansea University and industry
Proppant flowback dynamics
Fracturing of rock and soil is used for stimulation of hydrocarbon reservoirs, improved geothermal power generation, and enhanced remediation of soil pollution. Proppant particles are injected into the fractures to keep them from closing, but proppant flowback reduces the effectiveness of the treatments.
Despite the industrial, economic and societal importance of fracturing, very little is known about the fundamental physical mechanisms that govern flow in the proppant filled fractures, and how multiphase flow, destabilization and erosion leads to failure and flowback.
The project aims to bridge the gap between fundamental physics and applied engineering by uncovering the physical mechanisms that lead to failure of proppant packings, and to apply the gained insight into improving flowback control with new advanced proppant materials.Back
Dr Bjornar Sandnes
Research Assistant: Dr Martin Monloubou
We will shed light on the complex flow processes that take place kilometres underground
Prof Andrew Barron
Research Assistant: Dr Shirin Alexander
This is the first time that an intimate view of proppant flowback is being created, with the hope of designing better materials