A New Era in Proppant Research and Development

Fairmount Santrol’s increasing R&D investment is ensuring continuous product improvement.
The Fairmount Santrol Technology Center in Sugar Land, Texas, and the Innovation Center in Ottawa, Illinois, are working together to create superior, environmentally responsible proppant technology.

The Sugar Land laboratory, relocated from the original center in Fresno, Texas, is expanding the comprehensive proppant portfolio for hydraulic fracturing. Ph.D.s, engineers, and research associates are working with an impressive collection of sophisticated laboratory equipment to enhance resin-coated proppant performance for increased reservoir conductivity, proppant flowback prevention, and maximized hydrocarbon production.

The center is also researching proppant surface science and other structural features at the atomic and molecular level to optimize the bonding between resin and the base material, in addition to formulating new chemistry and materials for next-generation proppant.

The Innovation Center in Ottawa, Illinois, opened late in 2009. This R&D center, which was moved from Wedron, Illinois, to this new location, houses what was formerly known as the corporate laboratory and the Engineering department. Work includes research and evaluation, general testing, analytical support, quality assurance, process pilot testing, and production scenarios.

The Ottawa researchers, who form partnerships with private and academic research facilities, are also part of the mission for continuous proppant improvement. In addition, researchers are formulating new applications for our Industrial and Recreation business segment, including foundry, building, glass, sports and recreation, water filtration, and specialty products. Our R&D commitment in Sugar Land and Ottawa is not based on day-to-day applied testing. This is pure research in the quest for better ideas, based on a forward-looking view that is anticipating customers’ long-range needs. Superior resin-coated proppant and industrial and recreation products increase customer efficiency.