Stable Dispersion of Coal Fines during Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback in Coal Seam Gas Reservoirs - An Experimental Study

Faisal Ur Rahman Awan, Alireza Keshavarz, Hamed Akhondzadeh, Sarmad Al-Anssari, Ahmed Al-Yaseri, Ataollah Nosrati, Muhammad Ali, Stefan Iglauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


In subterranean coal seam gas (CSG) reservoirs, massive amounts of small-sized coal fines are released during the production and development stages, especially during hydraulic fracturing stimulation. These coal fines inevitably cause mechanical pump failure and permeability damage due to aggregation and subsequent pore-throat blockage. This aggregation behavior is thus of key importance in CSG production and needs to be minimized. Consequently, such coal fines dispersions need to be stabilized, which can be achieved by the formulation of improved fracturing fluids. Here, we thus systematically investigated the effectiveness of two additives (ethanol, 0.5 wt % and SDBS, 0.001 and 0.01 wt %) on dispersion stability for a wide range of conditions (pH 6-11; salinity of 0.1-0.6 M NaCl brine). Technically, the coal suspension flowed through a glass bead proppant pack, and fines retention was measured. We found that even trace amounts of sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate (SDBS) (i.e., 0.001 wt %) drastically improved dispersion stability and reduced fines retention. The retention was further quantified by fractal dimensional analysis, which showed lower values for suspensions containing SDBS. This research advances current CSG applications and thus contributes to improved energy security.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5566-5577
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 21 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-09-21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Stable Dispersion of Coal Fines during Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback in Coal Seam Gas Reservoirs - An Experimental Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this