Super absorbent polymers (SAPs) are substances that can absorb and hold large amounts of water or other liquids relative to their own weight. They are made up of very long chain molecules, called polymers, that can absorb water by forming bonds with the water molecules. Technically, they are highly hygroscopic, meaning the crystalline structure wants to be hydrated as much as physically possible when a water containing solution contacts the special polymer.
When the SAPs come into contact with water, they swell and expand to many times their original size, forming a gel-like substance that can retain the water. This makes them useful in a variety of applications, such as in disposable diapers, where they absorb and retain large amounts of urine, or in agriculture, where they can be used to retain moisture in soil.
SAPs are highly absorbent materials that can be used to hold and retain water or other liquids, making them useful in a variety of industries and applications. Super absorbent polymers (SAPs) are also used in the oilfield industry to help manage and control the flow of fluids during drilling, completion, and production processes.
In drilling operations, SAPs can be used to prevent the loss of drilling fluids, which are used to lubricate the drill bit and carry cuttings to the surface. These fluids are expensive and can be environmentally harmful if they escape into the surrounding areas. SAPs can be added to the drilling fluid to help it gel and form a barrier that prevents it from escaping the wellbore.
During completion and production, SAPs can be used to manage fluid flow in hydraulic fracturing operations. These operations involve pumping large amounts of water and other fluids into the rock formation to create fractures that allow oil or gas to flow more easily. SAPs can be added to the fracturing fluid to help it gel and increase its viscosity, which can improve the efficiency of the fracturing process and help prevent the loss of fluid into the formation.
SAPs can also be used to control the flow of water in underground storage reservoirs. In this application, the SAPs are added to the water to increase its viscosity and prevent it from flowing too quickly through the reservoir. This can help to maximize the amount of water that can be stored and ensure that it is available when needed to produce drilling muds.
SAPs are versatile materials that can be used in a variety of ways in the oilfield industry to help manage and control the flow of fluids. Their ability to absorb and retain large amounts of water or other liquids makes them a valuable tool in this industry. Further information is available from the manufacturer.