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Dust Collector Improves Fracking Job Sites

July 28, 2014

The fracking process can be complex and environmentally difficult. Recently, a world leader in the energy industry enlisted the help of a dust collector from Aerodyne Environmental, a leading manufacturer of industrial cyclonic dust collectors and dust collection valves.  
     Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a procedure widely used by natural gas drillers in which water, sand, and chemicals are forced at high pressure into the ground to break up shale rock formations, thereby causing the discharge of trapped natural gas. The facility was manufacturing a transport fluid that was used to prop the fracture open once it had been created. Due to the transport fluid's density, it is able to keep the pathway open, yet it is porous enough to allow the natural gas to pass through it.
     Previously, the company had been using a hydrocarbon-based fluid in this process but recently switched over to a guar-based fluid. Guar gum is a flour-like substance formed after guar beans have been de-husked and milled. The facility uses pneumatic air to transport the powder from delivery tankers to its storage vessels. From there, the powder is blended with water to become the transportation solution used in the fracking process.
     The company faced problems, however, in that transportation process. Not only did the company need to separate the powder from the air before venting it back into the atmosphere, but since the guar gum powder is hydroscopic, they needed a system that could handle the substance efficiently. Additionally, space was limited for whatever dust collector system they would use. The company's process was being transported on multiple trucks in the field, so plant operators needed a dust collector that would not only fit on the back of the truck, but leave enough room for the remaining equipment as well. Aerodyne Environmental's horizontal GPC-8 dust collector provided an ideal solution.
     The GPC is a compact, high-efficiency cyclonic dust collector. The unique "ground plate" design eliminates the need for a long, tapered cone that is required by conventional cyclonic dust collectors. The compact size of the GPC collector allows for installation in locations with low overhead clearances and reduces the need for tall maintenance scaffolding. The GPC dust collector is ideal for use as a pre-cleaner for baghouses and other filter-type dust collection equipment. Since the GPC has no moving parts or filters, it is easy to maintain and is well-suited for product recovery applications.
     After successfully testing the horizontal GPC dust collector, the company was able to filter the hydroscopic guar powder from the air before releasing air back into the atmosphere. The company plans on shipping 50 units of the stored guar powder to its various fracking sites.
     
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