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Dust Collection System Design for Operation in Fracturing Applications

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000241390D
Publication Date: 2015-Apr-22
Document File: 4 page(s) / 161K

Publishing Venue

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Abstract

Hydraulic fracturing of a well requires enormous volumes of proppant. Conveying proppant at the well site can create dust which may be released into the environment if not controlled. On a typical fracturing operation proppant dust is generated in two main ways. First, sand is pneumatically unloaded from transport trailers into proppant storage vessels; dust becomes entrained in the delivery air and escapes through the vents in the storage vessel. Second, proppant is conveyed from the storage vessels to the fracturing fluid blender; each transfer point in the conveying process (such as the vertical drop from one conveyor belt to another) can release additional dust. These transfer points are located on several separate pieces of equipment, each with a transfer point of different geometry. In addition, many of the transfer points span multiple pieces of equipment (from the outlet of one unit to the inlet of the next) and the relative position between units varies from one well site to the next. An adaptable dust mitigation system has been designed to address these challenges. The dust mitigation system is comprised of a mobile dust collector and ventilation ducting. The dust collection can draw air at a rate of 20,000 scfm. This high flow rate provides capacity to ventilate multiple transfer points simultaneously. Local ventilation hoses are located at each transfer point and connect back to the dust collector through a main ducting manifold. This ventilation system has been proven to reduce the airborne dust level at the fracturing site.

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Dust Collection System Design for Operation in Fracturing Applications

Abstract

Hydraulic fracturing of a well requires enormous volumes of proppant. Conveying proppant at the well site can create dust which may be released into the environment if not controlled.

On a typical fracturing operation proppant dust is generated in two main ways. First, sand is pneumatically unloaded from transport trailers into proppant storage vessels; dust becomes entrained in the delivery air and escapes through the vents in the storage vessel. Second, proppant is conveyed from the storage vessels to the fracturing fluid blender; each transfer point in the conveying process (such as the vertical drop from one conveyor belt to another) can release additional dust. These transfer points are located on several separate pieces of equipment, each with a transfer point of different geometry. In addition, many of the transfer points span multiple pieces of equipment (from the outlet of one unit to the inlet of the next) and the relative position between units varies from one well site to the next.

An adaptable dust mitigation system has been designed to address these challenges. The dust mitigation system is comprised of a mobile dust collector and ventilation ducting. The dust collection can draw air at a rate of 20,000 scfm. This high flow rate provides capacity to ventilate multiple transfer points simultaneously. Local ventilation hoses are located at each transfer point and connect back to the dust collector through a main ducting manifold. This ventilation system has been proven to reduce the airborne dust level at the fracturing site.

Introduction

Dust generation occurs in material handling through typical industrial operations when the material stream contains any fraction of fines or solids that have the potential to become airborne due to their size. The material size may start at a size where fines are not present but through either intentional processing or incidental degradation of the materials these fines can increase during the handling process. Once these fines are created they have the potential to be released at either the point of creation or further downstream of the creation point by a change in the flow pattern of the material or an exterior interaction such as a crosswind. The dust particles that become airborne range in size from particles that are large enough to only temporarily remain airborne or particles that will remain in the air for an indefinite period of time.

In a hydraulic fracturing operation dust is generated from the handling of proppant needed to support the fractures created downhole to increase the production rate of the hydrocarbons in the reservoir. Each hydraulic fracturing operation requires enormous amounts of proppant, the type proppant used in a specific operation is determined by the characteristics of the target formation with the most common being naturally occurring sand. Through the handling of proppa...