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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Middle School Students Study Fracking With Goal of Making it More Environmentally Friendly

From Lubbock Online:
The Water Warriors don’t want to stop fracking — they just want to find ways to make it more environmentally friendly. 
Whiteface Middle School’s team of Elizabeth Casarez, Dwayne Scott, Kaden Moses and Kaleb Ruthardt was concerned about the amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing. 
Each fracking instance uses about 1 million gallons, said Kaleb, 12. 
“That’s a lot of water to be taking out of our aquifer,” he said.

In an effort to find ways to limit that water through reuse, the quartet of sixth-graders tested flowback water for safety and designed distillation methods. 
“We learned how important stuff can be bad for people, and we need to treat it,” said Elizabeth, 12. 
Dwayne, 11, had the most success with an idea in which he filled an aluminum bowl with ice, then placed it in a stove-top cooking pan filled with water contaminated from the fracking process. He was able to reclaim about 90 percent of the water, he said. 
“We were thinking of ways to make it cleaner. We thought, ‘Why not distill it?’ ” he said.
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