High viscosity friction reducers (HVFRs) are widely used as friction-reducing agents and proppant carriers during hydraulic fracturing. The reuse of produced water has gained popularity due to environmental and economic benefits. Currently, the field's most commonly used friction reducers are anionic and cationic HVFRs. Anionic HVFRs are typically pumped with freshwater, while cationic HVFRs are used with high Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) produced water. Cationic friction reducers are believed to have better TDS tolerance, friction reduction performance, and proppant transport capabilities compared to anionic friction reducers under high TDS conditions due to their superior viscoelastic properties. In addition, the impact of different anions and cations on the viscosity of HVFRs has been thoroughly studied, and viscosity reduction mechanisms include charge shielding, increasing the degree of hydrolysis, and forming coordination complexes. However, anions and cations' effects on the elasticity of HVFRs still remain to be investigated. Besides, most previous experimental studies either do not specify experimental procedures or control the experimental variables well. Therefore, the ultimate objective of this experimental study is to analyze various cations and anions' effects on the elasticity of anionic and cationic HVFRs comparably and precisely with experimental variables well controlled. Two hypotheses based on anions and cations' effects on the viscosity of HVFRs are proposed and will be tested in this study. First, the elasticity reduction of anionic HVFRs is mainly due to cations, whereas the elasticity reduction of cationic HVFRs is mainly due to anions. Second, the salts' effects on the elasticity reduction of HVFRs should follow the same trend as the salts' effects on the viscosity reduction of HVFRs. For anionic HVFRs, monovalent Alkali metals should have a similar effect; divalent Alkaline earth metals should have a similar effect; transition metals should have the most severe effect. For cationic HVFRs, SO42- should have more pronounced effects than Cl-. To demonstrate both hypotheses, an anionic and a cationic HVFR at 4 gallons per thousand gallons (GPT) were selected and analyzed. The elasticity measurements of both anionic and cationic HVFRs were conducted with deionized (DI) water and various salts respectively. Fe3+ and H+ (or pH) effects were specifically investigated. The results showed both hypotheses were accepted.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Second Department

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Express Scripts, Grant None

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Article - Conference proceedings

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Publication Date

01 Jan 2023