, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 3013–3022 | Cite as

Rheological behavior and particle suspension capability of guar gum: sodium tetraborate decahydrate gels containing cellulose nanofibrils

  • Chenggui Sun
  • Yaman Boluk
Original Paper


Guar gum (GG) fracturing fluids were studied by incorporating cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) in anhydrous borax crosslinked guar gum gels. To fully understand the impact of CNF on the proppant suspension capability of developed fracturing fluids, their shear rate-dependent viscosity and viscoelasticity were investigated. The shear rate dependencies of fluids was fitted to the Carreau model. The zero shear rate viscosity and elasticity of fracturing fluids increased significantly by incorporating CNF in guar gum gels. On the other hand, the viscosity at high shear rates (>100 s−1) decreased as desired. The proppant settling velocities through fracturing fluids were evaluated by modeling the terminal falling velocity of proppants moving through a Carreau model fluid. The experimental results of the rheological behavior and the modeling results of the proppant settling rate indicated that the fracturing fluids containing CNF had better suspension capabilities. In addition, the lower viscosities of CNF formulated GG gels at higher shear rates will make them more pumpable.


Guar gum Borax crosslinked Fracturing fluid Cellulose nanofibrils Proppant settling 



This research was funded by Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions and NSERC Bioconversion Network. We thank the National Institute for Nanotechnology and Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures for providing training and research equipment.


  1. Acharya AR (1986) Particle transport in viscous and viscoelastic fracturing fluids. SPE Prod Eng 1(02):104–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Acharya A (1987) Viscoelasticity of crosslinked fracturing fluids and proppant transport. In: SPE production operations symposium. Society of Petroleum EngineersGoogle Scholar
  3. Agoda-Tandjawa G, Durand S, Berot S, Blassel C, Gaillard C, Garnier C, Doublier J-L (2010) Rheological characterization of microfibrillated cellulose suspensions after freezing. Carbohydr Polym 80(3):677–686CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Asadi M, Shah SN, Lord DL (1999) Static/dynamic settling of proppant in non-newtonian hydraulic fracturing fluids. In: SPE mid-continent operations symposium. Society of Petroleum EngineersGoogle Scholar
  5. Asadi M, Conway MW, Barree RD (2002) Zero shear viscosity determination of fracturing fluids: an essential parameter in proppant transport characterizations. In: International symposium and exhibition on formation damage control. Society of Petroleum EngineersGoogle Scholar
  6. Banerjee C, Ghosh S, Sen G, Mishra S, Shukla P, Bandopadhyay R (2013) Study of algal biomass harvesting using cationic guar gum from the natural plant source as flocculant. Carbohydr Polym 92(1):675–681CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bishop M, Shahid N, Yang J, Barron AR (2004) Determination of the mode and efficacy of the cross-linking of guar by borate using MAS 11B NMR of borate cross-linked guar in combination with solution 11B NMR of model systems. Dalton Trans 17:2621–2634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bocchinfuso G, Mazzuca C, Sandolo C, Margheritelli S, Alhaique F, Coviello T, Palleschi A (2010) Guar gum and scleroglucan interactions with borax: experimental and theoretical studies of an unexpected similarity. J Phys Chem B 114(41):13059–13068CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bush M, Phan-Thien N (1984) Drag force on a sphere in creeping motion throug a carreau model fluid. J Nonnewton Fluid Mech 16(3):303–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carreau P, Kee DD, Daroux M (1979) An analysis of the viscous behaviour of polymeric solutions. Can J Chem Eng 57(2):135–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chhabra RP (1993) Bubbles, drops, and particles in non-Newtonian fluids. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  12. Elgaddafi R, Ahmed R, George M, Growcock F (2012) Settling behavior of spherical particles in fiber-containing drilling fluids. J Petrol Sci Eng 84:20–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gidley JL (1989) Recent advances in hydraulic fracturing. Society of Petroleum Engineers, Richardson, TXGoogle Scholar
  14. Goel N, Shah SN, Yuan WL, O’Rear EA (2001) Suspension characteristics of borate-crosslinked gels: rheology and atomic force microscopy measurements. J Appl Polym Sci 82(12):2978–2990CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Goel N, Shah SN, Grady BP (2002) Correlating viscoelastic measurements of fracturing fluid to particles suspension and solids transport. J Petrol Sci Eng 35(1):59–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Guenet J-M (2000) Structure versus rheological properties in fibrillar thermoreversible gels from polymers and biopolymers. J Rheol (1978–present) 44(4):947–960CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Harris PC, Morgan RG, Heath SJ (2005) Measurement of proppant transport of frac fluids. In: SPE annual technical conference and exhibition. Society of Petroleum EngineersGoogle Scholar
  18. Hu YT, Chung H, Maxey JE (2015a) What is more important for proppant transport, viscosity or elasticity? In: SPE hydraulic fracturing technology conference. Society of Petroleum EngineersGoogle Scholar
  19. Hu YT, Kishore T, Maxey J, Loveless D (2015b) Effects of crosslinking chemistry on proppant suspension in guar networks. In: SPE international symposium on oilfield chemistry. Society of Petroleum EngineersGoogle Scholar
  20. Jafry HR, Pasquali M, Barron AR (2011) Effect of functionalized nanomaterials on the rheology of borate cross-linked guar gum. Ind Eng Chem Res 50(6):3259–3264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jin L, Penny GS (1995) Dimensionless methods for the study of particle settling in non-Newtonian fluids. J Petrol Technol 47(03):223–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jones J, Marques C (1990) Rigid polymer network models. Journal de Physique 51(11):1113–1127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kesavan S, Prud’Homme RK (1992) Rheology of guar and (hydroxypropyl) guar crosslinked by borate. Macromolecules 25(7):2026–2032CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Klemm D, Kramer F, Moritz S, Lindström T, Ankerfors M, Gray D, Dorris A (2011) Nanocelluloses: a new family of nature-based materials. Angew Chem Int Ed 50(24):5438–5466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lasseuguette E, Roux D, Nishiyama Y (2008) Rheological properties of microfibrillar suspension of TEMPO-oxidized pulp. Cellulose 15(3):425–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Legemah M, Guerin M, Sun H, Qu Q (2014) Novel high-efficiency boron crosslinkers for low-polymer-loading fracturing fluids. SPE J 19(04):737–743CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lei C, Clark PE (2004) Crosslinking of guar and guar derivatives. In: SPE annual technical conference and exhibition. Society of Petroleum EngineersGoogle Scholar
  28. Machač I, Šiška B, Machačová L (2000) Terminal falling velocity of spherical particles moving through a Carreau model fluid. Chem Eng Process 39(4):365–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pääkkö M, Ankerfors M, Kosonen H, Nykänen A, Ahola S, Österberg M, Ruokolainen J, Laine J, Larsson PT, Ikkala O (2007) Enzymatic hydrolysis combined with mechanical shearing and high-pressure homogenization for nanoscale cellulose fibrils and strong gels. Biomacromolecules 8(6):1934–1941CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pérez R, Siquier S, Ramίrez N, Müller A, Sáez A (2004) Non-Newtonian annular vertical flow of sand suspensions in aqueous solutions of guar gum. J Petrol Sci Eng 44(3):317–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pezron E, Leibler L, Ricard A, Audebert R (1988a) Reversible gel formation induced by ion complexation. 2. Phase diagrams. Macromolecules 21(4):1126–1131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pezron E, Ricard A, Lafuma F, Audebert R (1988b) Reversible gel formation induced by ion complexation. 1. Borax-galactomannan interactions. Macromolecules 21(4):1121–1125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pezron E, Ricard A, Leibler L (1990) Rheology of galactomannan-borax gels. J Polym Sci Part B Polym Phys 28(13):2445–2461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Power D, Larson I, Hartley P, Dunstan D, Boger D (1998) Atomic force microscopy studies on hydroxypropylguar gels formed under shear. Macromolecules 31(25):8744–8748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Power DJ, Paterson L, Boger DV (2001) Advanced rheological techniques for optimizing borate-crosslinked fracturing fluid selection and performance. SPE Drill Complet 16(04):239–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Risica D, Barbetta A, Vischetti L, Cametti C, Dentini M (2010) Rheological properties of guar and its methyl, hydroxypropyl and hydroxypropyl-methyl derivatives in semidilute and concentrated aqueous solutions. Polymer 51(9):1972–1982CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Roodhart L (1985) Proppant settling in non-Newtonian fracturing fluids. In: SPE/DOE low permeability gas reservoirs symposium. Society of Petroleum EngineersGoogle Scholar
  38. Siró I, Plackett D (2010) Microfibrillated cellulose and new nanocomposite materials: a review. Cellulose 17(3):459–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tayal A, Pai VB, Khan SA (1999) Rheology and microstructural changes during enzymatic degradation of a guar-borax hydrogel. Macromolecules 32(17):5567–5574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wang S, Zhang Y, Guo J, Lai J, Wang D, He L, Qin Y (2014) A study of relation between suspension behavior and microstructure and viscoelastic property of guar gum fracturing fluid. J Petrol Sci Eng 124:432–435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wientjes RH, Duits MH, Jongschaap RJ, Mellema J (2000) Linear rheology of guar gum solutions. Macromolecules 33(26):9594–9605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Zasadzinski JA, Chu A, Prud’Homme RK (1986) Transmission electron microscopy of gel network morphology: relating network microstructure to mechanical properties. Macromolecules 19(12):2960–2964CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.National Institute for NanotechnologyEdmontonCanada

Personalised recommendations