Metal ferrite nanoparticles as tracers in hydraulically fractured wells
Barron, Andrew R
Doctor of Philosophy
A variety of metal ferrite nanoparticles were synthesized via thermal decomposition reaction and characterized with transmission electron microscopy, small angle X-ray scattering, inductively coupled plasma – optical emission spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and a superconducting quantum interference device in order to develop a cost-effective means of tracing hydraulic fractures in wells. In addition, the nanoparticles were developed as a means of determining sources of contamination in the environment surrounding a well by way of “fingerprinting” the different potential sources. This is achieved through the manipulation of the quantities of metal cations substituted into the crystal structure of magnetite, allowing for the creation of unique and desired magnetic characteristics. In order to determine the feasibility of using nanoparticles as tracers, the quantity needed to be able to detect the nanoparticles as determined, as well as how the magnetic properties change as temperature increases as a function of nanoparticle composition. Finally, the feasibility of making industrial quantities of the nanoparticles was investigated.