What is special about frac sand?

Frac sand grains are unique in their resistance to being crushed, as well as their very round granule shape. This makes them ideal for use in the process of fracking.

Is frac sand harmful?

Frac sand linked to lung disease in workers Sand is basically silica — and breathing in silica is one of the oldest known workplace dangers. Inside the lungs, exposure to the tiny particles has been shown to sometimes lead to serious lung diseases like silicosis and lung cancer.

What is fracking explained for kids?

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a technique in which a fluid is injected at high pressure into an underground rock formation in order to open fissures, or cracks, and allow trapped gas or crude oil to flow through a pipe to a wellhead at the surface.

What characteristics make a good frac sand?


  • High Silica Content.
  • Grain Size.
  • High Sphericity/Roundness.
  • High Crush Resistance.
  • Low Solubility.
  • Low Turbidity.
  • Density/Specific Gravity.
  • Good Friability.

What type of sand is frac sand?

quartz sand
Frac sand is a crush-resistant quartz sand used during hydraulic fracturing to enhance the extraction of oil and natural gas. The sand is a proppant, which is small, granular material to prop open fissures in underground rock formations.

What is silica sand?

Silica sand is granular material that contains quartz and minute amounts of coal, clay and other minerals. It is also known as quartz sand and industrial sand, and is largely used in several construction applications. The presence of silica sand on metal materials can be a source of crevice corrosion on those metals.

Why is fracking done?

Fracking is a proven drilling technology used for extracting oil, natural gas, geothermal energy, or water from deep underground. Fracking has been safely used in the United States since 1947.

Why do we need fracking?

Fracking is essential for the production of natural gas and oil from shale formations, and with advances in fracking technology, it is becoming easier and more accessible to access natural gas.

Is frac sand expensive?

That material now costs between $40 and $45 per ton, Rystad Energy analyst Ryan Hassler told Axios — nearly 185% higher than last year.

Where is frac sand found?

In the United States, frac sand is being mined intensively from sandstone deposits across large swaths of land in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan.

What is frac sand and why is it so popular?

The demand for frac sand exploded in 2010, when the use of hydraulic fracturing became the standard method of producing oil and gas from tight rock formations such as the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale of the Appalachian Basin.

How much sand do you need for hydraulic fracturing?

A hydraulic fracturing job on one well can require a few thousand tons of sand. This surge of specialized drilling has created a billion-dollar frac sand industry in a very short time. Between 2005 and 2014, the amount of frac sand used by the oil and gas industry has increased dramatically.

How does frac sand hold fractures open?

When the high-pressure water stream forces the small perforations to become larger fractures, frac sand holds these fractures open to continue releasing fossil fuels. Frac sand (or any other type of natural or synthetic substance), when used to prop open these fractures, is called a “proppant.”.

What are the dangers of frac sand?

Frac sand processing also poses dangers to water sources. Miners commonly use chemicals called flocculants to clean, wash, or remove unwanted minerals or other fine particles from the processed sand. These chemicals can infiltrate in to groundwater after washing.