Threat of silicosis removed by innovative sand coating technology

Truck loading sand
Source: DollarPhotoClub

In response to the ongoing concern that silica dust control poses for the hydraulic fracturing industry, the Florida-based company ArrMaz has unveiled SandTec – an effective coating technology that reduces silica dust generation during the transfer of sand. The innovative product was developed in cooperation with Schlumberger and launched during the 4th Annual Frac Sand Supply & Logistics Conference, September 24 and 25 in San Antonio, Texas.

Breathing silica can cause silicosis – a lung disease where lung tissue around trapped silica particles reacts, causing inflammation and scarring and reducing the lungs’ ability to take in oxygen. Silica can also cause lung cancer and has been linked to other diseases, such as tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney and autoimmune disease. Acute silicosis nearly always leads to disability and death.

“With pressing regulations that are expected to get even tighter, we recognized the need for a new and innovative solution for greater silica dust reduction. We worked with Schlumberger to create SandTec to significantly reduce silica dust during sand transfer,” said Dave Keselica, President and CEO of ArrMaz.

“In addition to improved product performance, our customers are increasingly seeking sustainable solutions and we are proud to offer SandTec which is biodegradable and biorenewable.”

As an alternative to mechanical systems which present handling safety risks, take up valuable real estate at a hydraulic fracturing sites, are difficult to mobilize and remove and require regular maintenance, SandTec provides superior dust control performance, is easy to implement and provides protection from dust generation and proppant attrition at all sand transfer points along the entire supply chain. The benefit of SandTec is its ability to reduce silica dust whenever sand is transferred – from the initial point of treatment to the well head.

SandTec has been successfully tested at a number of hydraulic fracturing locations and has shown the ability to reduce silica dust levels below PEL action levels with no adverse effect on performance.

The product was well received by the industry, with the company announcing that it has joined forces with Superior Silica Sands (SSS), part of Emerge Energy Services LP, to install the first SandTec application system in SSS’ Barron, Wisconsin facility. The installation is expected to be completed in December 2015 and is a major step in providing the oil and gas industry with access to this new and innovative technology. This will enable the efficient delivery of large volumes of proppant coated with SandTec to hydraulic fracturing sites and transload facilities.

“The team at Superior has a visionary approach to the industry,” said John Suldickas, Oil and Gas Commercial Manager at ArrMaz. “Working with them will allow us to provide the industry with a valuable tool to lower silica dust levels at all transfer points and increase operational safety.”

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