SBIR Phase I: Novel Utilization of Fly Ash using a Sustainable Process

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Novoreach Technologies LLC
210 Arrow Cove Array
Midland, MI 48642
Principal Investigator, Firm POC

Abstract

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop a novel and sustainable process to utilize industrial waste materials and energy to prepare high value commercial structural materials. Fly ash from coal power plants will be formulated and reacted with flue gas to develop proppant materials for hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas exploration. The use of fly ash will not only reduce the environmental impact of fly ash disposal but also eliminate the need to mine and transport a large quantity of ceramic raw materials to proppant production plants. Utilization of waste energy from flue gas will also enable a sustainable process to produce proppants without the need of high temperature ceramic processing. Therefore, the combined use of fly ash and flue gas will enable the production of low-cost and high-strength proppants for oil and gas exploration. The broader impacts/commercial potential will be the potential to provide a sustainable and low-cost process to utilize coal power plant wastes to produce high strength structural materials. These high strength materials can be used as proppants for hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas exploration. The global proppant market for oil and gas exploration is expected to reach $7 billion by 2017 with a 10.75% compound annual growth rate. The success of the proposed work could significantly reduce the landfill requirements for disposal of fly ash, and the resulting impact on the environment. Finally, the utilization of flue gas treatment to replace traditional high-temperature ceramic material processing will reduce the level of global greenhouse gas emissions.