New Filter Removes Contaminates From Fracking Wastewater - Water and Waste Water Jobs Water and Waste Water Jobs: News Details

New Filter Removes Contaminates From Fracking Wastewater


NEW FILTER FOR WASTEWATER FRACKING -- A ceramic filter that can clean wastewater from hydraulic fracturing without clogging could help ease one of the environmental problems associated with that petroleum-extracting process — and maybe ease the shakes that have hit the US oil patch. Fracking uses a high-pressure stew of water, chemicals, sand, and other particles to break up underground rock formations and free oil and natural gas locked inside. A typical well drilled that way uses up to 5 million gallons (20 million liters) of fluid, and up to 15 percent of that flows back to the well. And once a well starts producing oil, a much bigger volume of salt-rich wastewater comes up with it. Being able to re-use that water instead of just shooting it back underground, which is the usual way drillers get rid of it now, would help reduce the environmental footprint of the practice. So a team of researchers at Houston’s Rice University set about finding a better way of filtering out the particles and oily residue that comes up with that wastewater. “Ceramic filters themselves are durable, but the problem with frack water or produced water from the oil and gas industry, you can’t filter that because the filters block up. They get fouled,” Andrew Barron, a Rice professor of chemistry and engineering at Rice, told Seeker. “Our filters don’t do that.”

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