Sand is considered a proppant and actually was the first generation of proppants. The second was ceramic and resin-coated sand. [In your blogging post on proppants] it depends on what you mean by "better."I posted that as a comment, but knowing that not everyone reads the comments, I re-posted the comment here. I am still learning about proppants and appreciate any insight.
For instance the conductivity and permeability of ceramic proppants is almost always better than regular sand. Although, there are some sands that perform better that lightweight ceramics.
Ceramics tend to weigh more than sands so it takes a more viscous fluid to transport the ceramic further into the fracture and the fluid can cause more damage to the proppant pack than if a lighter fluid was used on sand. There is much to consider when evaluating a proppant.
The most interesting thing about the note above: the note about the damage fluid can do to the frack, in general. I had heard that before, but did not know the difference between "heavy" fluid, and a lighter, less viscous fluid, but it all makes sense.