We continue to build on our detailed understanding of the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process.
Chemicals are used for many purposes in hydraulic fracturing. Some chemicals are designed to inhibit bacterial growth while others reduce friction and allow fluids to flow down the casing more easily. Without these additives, the effectiveness of each hydraulic fracture treatment would be limited. The make-up of fracturing fluid varies from one geological basin or formation to another and the difference between the formulations can be as small as a change in concentration of one specific compound. The number of chemical additives used in a typical fracture treatment also varies, depending on the conditions of the well being fractured. Each component serves a specific, engineered purpose.
|% of Total||Product category||Main ingredient||Purpose|
|~99.5%||Water||H20||Creates fractures and delivers the sand to the zone of interest|
|Sand (proppant)||Silica||Props fractures open to allow gas to flow|
|~0.50%||Gel||Guar gum||Thickens water to suspend the sand|
|Friction reducer||Polyacrylamide||Minimize friction between the fluid and the pipe|
|Crosslinker||Borate salts or Zirconium||Greatly increases base gel viscosity|
|Anti-bacterial agents||Glutaraldehyde||Eliminates any bacteria in the water that may produce corrosive byproducts.|
|Breaker||Ammonium or Sodium persulfate||Breaks gel to lower viscosity|
|Corrosion inhibitor||n, n-dimethyl formamide||Prevents corrosion of the pipe|
|Iron control||Citric acid||Prevents metal oxides precipitation|
|Clay stabilizer||Potassium or Quaternary chloride||Creates a brine carrier fluid|
|pH adjusting agent||Sodium hydroxide or Potassium carbonate||Maintains desired pH for crosslinker effectiveness|
|Surfactant||Isopropanol||Used for water recovery and preventing emulsions|