McLanahan offers both stationary and portable screening and sizing equipment effective for making the coarse-end separation required for frac sand, as well as scalping off the unwanted fractions. With McLanahan’s screening equipment, the smaller particles of sand fall through the screen media, and the larger particles of sand remain on the screen media to be further processed. McLanahan screening equipment also provides an opportunity for water to be introduced to the process to hydrate the sand in preparation for the fine-end separation to follow.
Attrition Cells/Scrubbers I Blade Mills I Dewatering Screens I Filter Presses I Frac Sand Plants I Hydrocyclones I Hydrosizers™ I Modular Wash Plants I Sand Washing Plants I Screw Washers I Slurry Pumps I Thickeners I Ultra Fines Recovery Plants I Vibratory Screens
The sand used for fracking must be pure and relatively free of the impurities that can block the passageways for gas and oil to escape. McLanahan scrubbing equipment uses particle-on-particle attrition to remove clay and other deleterious material to improve the turbidity of the sand. It can also be used to break apart any remaining sand particle clusters.
Recovering the plus 140 to 400 mesh non-frac sand material that is not retrieved by the Cyclone or Dewatering Screen is possible with McLanahan Fines Recovery equipment. Their equipment helps frac sand producers recover as many fines as possible to create a potentially saleable product. McLanahan fines recovery equipment also keeps this material from going into settling ponds, which can allow the frac sand producer to potentially reduce or eliminate their settling pond.
Because sand particles must meet certain requirements to be considered for frac sand, sampling for quality and consistency is an important part of the production process. Mechanical Sampling Systems from McLanahan ensure that the end user will receive a sand that can withstand the crushing forces of the earth and allow the natural gas trapped in those rocks to escape by offering frac sand producers the best solution for their sampling application. McLanahan Mechanical Sampling Systems also ensure that the sampling standards of organizations like the American Petroleum Institute are being met.
The Importance of Frac Sand Processing
The production of oil and natural gas from shale deposits relies on the use of proppants to maintain the openings induced by hydraulic fracturing. The most common proppants are produced from high quality silica and sand deposits and are known as frac sand. In order to be used as frac sand, the naturally occurring silica sand must exhibit many unique natural qualities, including roundness, high strength and purity. In addition, frac sand must be carefully processed to very demanding specifications with very tight tolerances.
With years of process team knowledge, McLanahan is the most experienced manufacturer of wet processing plants for frac sand production in North America. The company has a solution for all stages of the frac sand process, including crushing, screening, washing and classifying, and dewatering, as well as fines recovery, sampling and water management. With their equipment, McLanahan can make your site more efficient, more productive and more profitable.
McLanahan’s wide range of crushing solutions allows the frac sand producer to liberate silica quartz from large rocks and boulders of sandstone while keeping internal stress fractures in the sand particles to a minimum. The company offers both primary and secondary crushers that employ the basic reduction principles commonly used in the frac sand industry – compression and impact – to break up the sandstone clusters for further processing. McLanahan crushers are able to free silica particles at maximum volume using a minimum amount of power and with less wear on the machine.
Washing and Classifying
Frac sand must be exceptionally clean in order to meet the end user’s specifications. McLanahan washing and classifying equipment can be used to deslime the sand particles, as well as make the fine-end separation to prepare the feed for the dry processing stage. McLanahan offers equipment that can make the extremely sharp classification required in the frac sand industry. This equipment can determine what material goes into the frac sand and what material goes into waste, and separate it accordingly.
McLanahan dewatering equipment can remove moisture from frac sand material so it can be stacked for further processing in the dry processing stage. Efficient dewatering can reduce fuel consumption at the dry processing stage, reduce trucking of water, reduce residual fines and improve turbidity of final sand. McLanahan dewatering equipment provides a consistently stackable and conveyable material with a low moisture content.
With many environmental regulations in place today, it is common for most frac sand processing facilities to have some sort of tailings management system in place. Typical effluent or tailings from frac sand plants can include the minus 70-mesh composed of fine sand, silts and clays; water; and solids concentrations of 3 to 10% solids by weight. McLanahan tailings management equipment helps frac sand producers reclaim as much process water as possible for reuse, and get the solid fractions into a state that can be easily/safely handled, stored or sold. It also allows producers to reduce or eliminate settling ponds, as well as lower the energy costs associated with pumping the material to the settling ponds.
Frac Sand Plants
McLanahan engineers complete wet processing plants designed specifically to make the critical separations required for frac sand in the oil and gas well drilling industry. Frac Sand Plants include a combination of McLanahan’s field-proven, state-of-the-art equipment that ensure silica deposits are processed to meet the strict demands of the industry. Based on the characteristics of the deposit as determined by McLanahan’s accredited lab, McLanahan will design a custom Frac Sand Plant to liberate silica particles, remove non-silica contaminants, remove clay impurities, remove non-frac sand size fractions and break up clusters.