The potent mixture behind fracking fluids

The potent mixture behind fracking fluids by Carrie Tait, March 10, 2012, Globe and Mail
Slick water frack fluid feels like slimy water, has the viscosity of milk, and sports a yellowish tinge. The fluids used in so-called foam fracks and gelled water fracks are thicker – indeed, the stuff is nicknamed “ploppy gel” because of the way it would splatter if it hit the ground. Ploppy gel feels silky, and the off-white colour changes depending on the additive blend. If the snotty mixture is poured from a beaker, it moves as a blob rather than stream of water. Guar gum is used in gelled water fracks. Frack fluid is made in the so-called blender, a large truck where the ingredients are mixed together. When sand is added, the fluid remains silky, but gritty. Pumper trucks push frack fluid through a pipe connected to the wellhead and down the wellbore. A separate pipe containing nitrogen may also be used, with the fluid and nitrogen mixing below the surface. They are pumped at extremely high pressures, and, if all goes according to script, will cause the target rock layer to crack….

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