Question: What will happen to the "sand" when the out flow water will get filtered? Will the sand clog filters? Will the "sand" that Gastem uses be reusable? I know that the "sand" is not sand but a plastic material. Martha
Proppants or "sand" are the particles that are suspended in the fracturing fluid during hydraulic fracturing. They are used to hold the fractures open to create a pathway for the gas and fluids to flow through. Proppants can be sand grains or ceramic material.
When the well in Maryland was hydraulically fractured, the flowback fluid (the fluid that returned to the surface after the pressure applied during hydraulic fracturing is reversed) flowed back to surface. It contained some proppants ( Gastem used ultra-lightweight sand).
The proppants were removed using a dewatering system and disposed of at an approved landfill. The system used filter cloth. Woodchips were used to adsorb the proppants and also used as a weight to hold the proppants down to the cloth.
Proppants are usually re-used.