Evaluating Performance of Clay Stabilizers for Hydraulic Fracturing with Solid Surface Zeta Potential

Fracking fluids are used to increase the permeability of rocks during the hydraulic drilling process. These fluids are infused with additives such as viscosity and interfacial tension modifiers, antimicrobials, corrosion inhibitors, proppants that wedge into the fractures and keep them “propped” open, and clay stabilizers.

Clay stabilizers are critical in the fracking process as clay swells in the presence of fresh water, blocking the removal of the oil and gas, and thereby limiting a well’s performance. One example is a positively charged polymer that adsorbs to negatively charged clay particles, creates a water-proof barrier, prevents swelling, and eases the recovery of oil and gas during drilling operations. Determining the right polymer for the job with conventional core flow testing can be time consuming, taking up to several days to complete. With zeta potential measurements, the waiting time is brought down to hours or even minutes, allowing for quick selection of the best candidates and further testing.

Topics covered in this webinar will include:

  • Exploring the interaction between additives and the clay surface using zeta potential as an indicator for a stabilizer’s quality
  • Evaluating the results of a study on the effectiveness of clay stabilizer utilizing SurPASS 3 electrokinetic analyzer, including a high-temperature assessment to simulate fracking conditions
  • Using surface zeta potential as a high-throughput screening tool for clay stabilizers
Dr. Brian Rodenhausen (English)
Brian Rodenhausen

Dr. Brian Rodenhausen is a Senior Product Specialist in the Particle and Materials Characterization group at Anton Paar USA. His research background focused on label-free characterization of the solid-liquid interface. He received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and did post-doctoral work at UNL and the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research in Dresden, Germany.


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