GRAPEVINE, Texas (ICIS)--US-based Dow Chemical's TERAFORCE won on Wednesday the Polyurethane Innovation Award.
A proppant company, Preferred Sands, used TERAFORCE to coat sand, the first use of its kind for a polyurethane. The result is Preferred Sands's RCS proppant.
Proppants are used in hydraulic fracturing, the predominant technique used to develop shale gas and tight oil.
The proppants prop up the fractures created by the process, allowing oil and gas to be extracted.
Typically, proppants are coated with a phenolic resin. However, phenolic resins pose problems. They could leach chemicals into the fluids that are used in hydraulic fracturing. They also tend to slip out of the fractures. The sand would then clog up the well, while the fractures would collapse. The result lowered the production rate of the well.
The polyurethane did not leach chemicals, and it did not slip out.
Dow's TERAFORCE was among three finalists for the award.
Novomer's Converge polyol is made with carbon dioxide (CO2).
The CO2 actually gives the polyol its advantages, such as strength, adhesion and environmental resistance. It also reduces costs.
BASF's Infinergy is the first expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). The foam that is made with the TPU maintains its elasticity at a wide range of temperatures.