Enhancing the Performance of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids Using Single and Dual Crosslinkers
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Hydraulic fracturing has become a common practice in the petroleum industry. Polymers are the main components of fracturing fluids, but high polymer loadings can leave more residue after the treatment. Therefore, crosslinkers are used to improve the properties of polymers and reduce the damage through use of lower concentration of polymers. Various systems have been developed to obtain a suitable crosslinked polymer for the treatment. Boron, zirconium, and titanium are usually used in the industry to crosslink guar gum polymer; however, each system has its own strengths and weaknesses. One of the factors that affect the gel performance is the type of ligands attached to the zirconium. Thus, two Zr crosslinkers with almost the same concentration of Zr can display different performances if the ligand attached to Zr is not the same. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the effect of ligand types attached to Zr on the performance of CMHPG crosslinked with Zr-based crosslinkers with three different ligands. Moreover, aluminum-lactate crosslinker was examined in this study as an alternative to available crosslinkers like boron and zirconium to address their limitations such as temperature, pH, and shear sensitivity. In the next phase of this study, to achieve a broader range of applications, Al-Zr dual crosslinker was studied and its performance was compared against the commercially available Zr-B crosslinker. Extensive lab research is a key to a successful field treatment, and these results indicate that fracturing fluids are complex. In the case of Zr-based crosslinkers, ligand type is one of the important factors in determining the final properties of fracturing fluids. The shortcomings of both Al and Zr crosslinkers were addressed through the new Al-Zr dual crosslinker.
Sokhanvarian, Khatere (2017). Enhancing the Performance of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids Using Single and Dual Crosslinkers. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from