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Self-Cleaning Tanks using TiO2 Nanoparticle

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000239897D
Publication Date: 2014-Dec-10
Document File: 4 page(s) / 214K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

In hydraulic fracturing operations, the frac tanks store polymer based fluids or gels that may sit out in the hot weather for several hours or even days waiting for the time to be pumped downhole. This warm and polymer rich environment can become a breeding ground for bacterial growth. The bacteria that feeds on the polymers causes a reduction in the gel viscosity affecting its property to suspend proppant at the bottom hole temperature conditions it was designed for. Addition of bactericides to the linear gel is the current bacterial control method mostly being used; however bactericides can be toxic and pose an environmental concern over waste disposal. Bactericides alone may not handle the bacteria problem efficiently because after a few jobs, frac tanks can become so heavily contaminated. The additional solution then is decontamination of the frac tanks between jobs through expensive and time consuming steam cleaning. The need for a more effective, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly method is in demand and can be accomplished by applying self-cleaning characteristics to the frac tanks with the use of titanium dioxide (TiO2). TiO2 is a non-toxic, non-flammable, and highly stable naturally occurring material that has been found to be a photocatalyst and when activated by sunlight, exhibits self-cleaning properties eliminating the surface from germs and bacteria as well as odors in the air. The purpose of this invention is to use the unique self-cleaning property of TiO2 nanoparticles for bacteria control with the help of natural or simulated sunlight by coating TiO2 onto the surface of the container.

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Self-Cleaning Tanks using TiO2 Nanoparticle

Abstract

In hydraulic fracturing operations, the frac tanks store polymer based fluids or gels that may sit out in the hot weather for several hours or even days waiting for the time to be pumped downhole. This warm and polymer rich environment can become a breeding ground for bacterial growth. The bacteria that feeds on the polymers causes a reduction in the gel viscosity affecting its property to suspend proppant at the bottom hole temperature conditions it was designed for.

Addition of bactericides to the linear gel is the current bacterial control method mostly being used; however bactericides can be toxic and pose an environmental concern over waste disposal. Bactericides alone may not handle the bacteria problem efficiently because after a few jobs, frac tanks can become so heavily contaminated. The additional solution then is decontamination of the frac tanks between jobs through expensive and time consuming steam cleaning.

The need for a more effective, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly method is in demand and can be accomplished by applying self-cleaning characteristics to the frac tanks with the use of titanium dioxide (TiO2). TiO2 is a non-toxic, non-flammable, and highly stable naturally occurring material that has been found to be a photocatalyst and when activated by sunlight, exhibits self-cleaning properties eliminating the surface from germs and bacteria as well as odors in the air. The purpose of this invention is to use the unique self-cleaning property of TiO2 nanoparticles for bacteria control with the help of natural or simulated sunlight by coating TiO2 onto the surface of the container.

Introduction

Titanium dioxide's self-cleaning properties are already used in various applications of our everyday lives from TiO2 containing light bulbs that rid the air of contaminates, cat litter boxes coated with TiO2 that eliminate odor and germs, mirrors of cars that are coated to resist fog and TiO2 glass on windows that are self-cleaning and resists dirt accumulation. All of these applications show that it is safe to use and an

Figure 1. TiO2 treated surface when exposed to light can eliminate bacteria, fungus, germs and odor due to its self-cleaning and

deodorizing properties

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effective cleaning agent.

TiO2 when activated by sunlight in the presence of oxygen and water forms hydroxyl radicals which are a naturally potent oxidant and used for disinfection in the body as well as on surfaces. Subsequently, TiO2 applied to a surface and exposed to light exhibits self-cleaning properties eliminating the surface from germs and bacteria as well as odors in the air (Figure 1).

There are three crystalline polymorphs of titanium dioxide, rutile, brookite and anatase; the last is the form that has the most activity and principally used in these applications. There are many different TiO2

coating processes for surfaces of different materials, among these method...