Oil and Gas: Silica Dust Control for Hydraulic Fracturing
Employee exposure to silica dust generation during hydraulic fracturing operations is a continuing concern for the oil and gas industry. The shipping and transfer of frac sand (proppant) generates silica dust and hence poses significant environmental, health and safety (EHS) challenges to the industry.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently revised the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica dust downward from 0.1 mg/m3 to 0.05 mg/m3. While the hydraulic fracturing industry has already applied measures to control silica dust, OSHA’s new regulations require further technological advancements in dust control, since existing mechanical and personal protective equipment (PPE) systems do not adequately reduce silica dust levels down to the new PEL across the hydraulic fracturing supply chain.
Recognizing the need for a better solution to the problem, ArrMaz collaborated with industry experts and applied our more than 50 years of coating technology expertise to develop an effective chemical technology solution for silica dust control. SandTec®, our patented, next-generation silica dust control proppant coating technology is a proven solution, which, when applied to frac sand, results in significant reductions in respirable silica dust to below OSHA’s new PEL. SandTec minimizes silica dust generation from the mine to the well head, spanning the entire hydraulic fracturing supply chain.