Industry News

Frac sand processing in a portable system

McLanahan Corporation, a global supplier of processing equipment, systems and solutions, has engaged CEMCO Inc, a designer and manufacturer of material reduction equipment, to produce the industry?s first and only portable frac sand plant.

Combining McLanahan?s advanced frac sand processing technology with CEMCO?s expertise in portable equipment design, the portable frac sand plant offers an economical, efficient means for the production of two sizes of frac sand used in oil and natural gas drilling applications. The plant is easily transported from one deposit site to the next, enabling frac sand mining at multiple locations.

Created in response to the growing demand for highly specialised frac sand, McLanahan and CEMCO designed the plant to allow for high volume production without the need to own and operate multiple stationary plants and obtain building permits. Based on McLanahan?s stationary frac sand plants and process, the portable model features proven design and technology in a configuration that is easy to set up, take down and transport. Only two operators are needed to assemble and disassemble, and set-up takes less than eight hours.

The plant?s design is based on McLanahan?s Hydrosizer. With more than 30 years of proven performance in a variety of applications, the Hydrosizer is an essential plant component that is able to make the discreet cuts necessary to meet frac sand requirements. Sand enters the Hydrosizer from the top, while a column of fresh, clean water pushes upward from the bottom of the machine.

The water moves at such a rate that only particles of plus 210?m (70 mesh) are carried up and over the unit, while coarser materials drop from the bottom of the Hydrosizer. This separation is key to the process, as only plus 210?m particles are considered true frac sand.

CEMCO?s specialised, self-erecting portable frac sand plant is designed for high volume production, offering an average output of 150 tonnes per hour, and built for continuous duty, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. From the initial feed, material first reports to a sump, which pumps the sand and added water up to a cyclone. This cyclone is mounted to the self-erecting Hydrosizer, which separates sand of plus 210?m and transports it to a system of vibrating dewatering screens. Screens dewater the sand and convert it to a stackable, removable material.

Meanwhile, the minus 210?m sand is recycled through another system of cyclones, which again separate out the plus 210?m, putting it through the dewatering screens and converting to a stackable material. The entire system ensures all usable frac sand is processed and separated into the two sizes, with minimal material waste.

Although highly advanced in engineering and design, the plant is easy to operate. A one touch screen control panel regulates and determines the operation and characteristic of the entire plant with a central power distribution panel to power all the electric motors and pumps. McLanahan offers training on the system and operation to every customer.

The all-electric powered plant is designed with minimal moving parts, resulting in less maintenance than conventional sand washing equipment. Additionally, there is less worry of costly downtime from excess friction or damaged bearings. The Hydrosizer is constructed with special coatings and wear-resistant polyurethanes are used throughout the plant to increase durability.

The standard plant design features two units on separate chassis. The set-up sizes of each unit are 3.5m wide x 13m long x 9m high (11.5? x 44? x 30?) and  2.5m x 15m x 4m (8.5? x 50? x 12.5?), when erected. The two units connect with just four hoses, creating one complete, integrated plant. Every unit can be fully customised to suit each customer?s specifications.

Source: McLanahan Corporation

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