Preferred Sands and Dow Chemical have developed a proppant using polyurethane, a first for the resin.
Dow’s Teraforce polyurethane is used to coat sand.
The result is Preferred Sands’s RCS proppant. It is among the three finalists for an innovation award, given by the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry at its Polyurethanes Technical Conference held this week.
The product had challenges, said Michael O’Neill, chief executive, Preferred Sands. “What we needed was something that would be a little more flexible, would hold our product in place so that it wouldn’t flow back but also wouldn’t leach anything out so that fracking would be sustainable,” O’Neill said.
Dow’s solution was to use an entirely new material, replacing a phenolic resin with a polyurethane, said Chris Chrisafides, senior commercial director, North America, Dow Polyurethanes.
The polyurethane offered several advantages, O’Neill said.
The Polyurethanes Technical Conference lasts through Wednesday, when the winner of the innovation award will be announced.