Design and Synthesis of Stimuli Responsive Viscosifying Agents for use in Fracturing Fluids
Fluids used in hydraulic fracturing are designed to open fractures and transport proppant along the fracture to ensure conservation of the fracture. Scientists in the industry use commercially available polymers that are produced at low-cost in high volumes for other industries (e.g. water treatment) without really understanding the reasons why these polymers have the desired performance for fracking. The fluids we are focused on developing are used to reduce the cost of pumping/fracking to make drilling operations economically viable. The first goal is to understand the key macromolecular characteristics of polymers that make them good candidates for friction reducers and viscosifying agents. The second goal is to develop new polymers that will have the dual performance activity of friction reducer and viscosifying agent in one product versus the common use of multiple fluids.