As energy companies improve their methods of extracting fuel from deep oil and gas wells, they've increasingly relied upon hydraulic fracturing.
Hydraulic fracturing, called "hydrofracking" or just "fracking," is a method by which fractures are introduced and expanded within a rock formation through the use of a pressurized fluid. Hydrofracking creates new channels in the rock to facilitate extraction of fuels such as petroleum or natural gas.
Ceramic proppant, also known as "ceramic sand," is one of the key components in the hydraulic fracturing process, carried by the pressurized frac fluid used to prop open and hold the fractures thus let flow the oil or gas. Ceramic sand with its superior strength withstands the high pressures of the deep wells way better than natural sand.