Faisal Ur Rahman Awan
Energy and Fuels
School of Engineering
Edith Cowan University - Open Access Support Scheme
In subterranean coal seam gas (CSG) reservoirs, massive amounts of small-sized coal fines are released during the production and development stages, especially during hydraulic fracturing stimulation. These coal fines inevitably cause mechanical pump failure and permeability damage due to aggregation and subsequent pore-throat blockage. This aggregation behavior is thus of key importance in CSG production and needs to be minimized. Consequently, such coal fines dispersions need to be stabilized, which can be achieved by the formulation of improved fracturing fluids. Here, we thus systematically investigated the effectiveness of two additives (ethanol, 0.5 wt % and SDBS, 0.001 and 0.01 wt %) on dispersion stability for a wide range of conditions (pH 6–11; salinity of 0.1–0.6 M NaCl brine). Technically, the coal suspension flowed through a glass bead proppant pack, and fines retention was measured. We found that even trace amounts of sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate (SDBS) (i.e., 0.001 wt %) drastically improved dispersion stability and reduced fines retention. The retention was further quantified by fractal dimensional analysis, which showed lower values for suspensions containing SDBS. This research advances current CSG applications and thus contributes to improved energy security.
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