New Technology Could Make Fracking More Effective and Environmentally Friendly
|New technology could
be a solution for fracking
complaints and acid mine
The world knows all about fracking due to the controversy surrounding it, as the country’s energy needs are pitted against potential environmental damage. Less known, however, is the problem of acid mine drainage (AMD), which the U.S. EPA identifies as “the main pollutant of surface water in the mid-Atlantic region.” These are two big and distinct issues, but there may be a shared solution.
A new technology, developed by Battelle Memorial Institute and its subsidiary Winner Water Services, can clean AMD water to levels suitable for industrial use, especially suited for hydraulic fracturing (aka “fracking”) operations. Using remediated AMD water for fracking is not only better for the environment, protecting both the quality and quantity of freshwater, it makes for better process water as well. Winner’s AMD treatment technique removes iron and sulfate from the AMD water and produces a metal sulfate byproduct that can be combined with other chemicals, water, and sand to break up shale deposits. Such formulas, or “cocktails” as described by Carolyn Guju Kotsol, president and CEO of Winner Water Services, are proprietary and closely guarded by oil and gas companies.
“We know they’re using some level of metal sulfates — boric sulfate or iron sulfate, for example — to some degree of quality, concentration, and volume,” reports Kotsol. “What we hope to do with this award is quantify and qualify what it is that we have and then exercise that with the oil and gas community and see if it fits their needs.”Continue reading about this by clicking here.
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