Polish company Eko Eksport, specialising in the acquisition and distribution of microspheres, has come up with a new use for them in the production of a new type of proppants surrounded by resin. The company is the second Polish firm, after Baltic Ceramics, intent on entering the global synthetic proppants market.
Microspheres are particles of slag originating during coal dust burning process in big furnaces, mainly in power stations. Microspheres have very wide application in many branches, from the car industry, through plastics and ceramics to building materials. Now, the company will use them in a novel way to produce proppants for the fracking industry.
Shale oil and gas companies are increasingly using more proppants during the fracking stage of exploration as it tends to produce higher flow rates. 2011 saw a patent filed on the use of ceramic microspheres as a ‘template’ coating for nano-materials, creating a very strong microsphere surrounded by a resin material. This product has a very low density which is an advantage during hydraulic fracturing of wells.
This type of proppants is usually very expensive, but thanks to a new production line, Eko Eksport is able to offer such product at an accessible price. The company should be ready to accept orders once the planned production plant in Astan, Kazakhstan, is completed. The Polish company is already in talks with potential buyers for its proppants in the U.S. and United Arab Emirates.
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