BPH Pump & Equipment Inc., an Illinois-based distributor of industrial pumps, has supported a Midwestern manufacturer since 2013 when they opened a mining operation that produces a range of silica proppants. Proppants are solid materials, such as treated sand or ceramic particulate, that are typically used in the hydraulic fracturing process to keep an induced hydraulic fracture open for optimal oil and gas extraction.
When this proppant manufacturer needed pumps for sumps in their facility, they contacted BPH Pump & Equipment Inc. for recommendations. Having initially installed a KZN submersible pump in one of their sumps for a basic dewatering application, the proppant manufacturer contacted BPH again in 2015 to discuss sourcing another KZN pump for a new sump.
Reclaiming Frac Sand in a Closed-Loop Water System
The proppant manufacturer operates the mining facility with a closed-loop water system in an effort to reduce the facility’s water consumption by as much as 73 million gallons of water each year.
The company is a rare-mineral exploration, development and production company. In 2010 it opened an ISR (in-situ recovery) mine in south Texas; it was the first new ISR mine in the United States in five years. The facility extracts raw minerals from a sandstone formation and ships it to a nearby processing plant where it is refined.The Challenge
In ISR mining at the site, on-site groundwater fortified with gaseous oxygen is pumped into injection wells drilled deep into sandstone. The solution dissolves minerals from the host rock; it is recovered and brought back to the surface via production wells. Back at the surface, the solution—with the mineral in suspension—is pumped into ion-exchange columns (also called concentration tanks) where the mineral is stripped out of solution and “loaded” onto millions of resin beads.
One of the largest producers of stone aggregates in the southeastern United States will tell you that aggregates are being used more and more to protect our environment. Aggregates are critical components of soil erosion–control programs and can be found in water purification systems and are used to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions from electric power plants.
Midsouth Aggregates, headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., produces aggregates by quarrying naturally occurring rock deposits. Granite and limestone are extracted by carefully controlled blasting, then are crushed and graded to produce stones of different sizes to be used in various applications. From concrete, wall board and roofing tiles to the roads we drive on and the bridges we cross — all use aggregates.
Midsouth Aggregates supplies aggregate products to the Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida Departments of Transportation, the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Aviation Administration.