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TurboFrac Produced Water Recycling Pilot

ThermoEnergy, STW Resources Turn Fracking Water into Freshwater

TurboFrac Produced Water Recycling PilotThermoEnergy and STW Resources say they have completed a successful pilot test of ThermoEnergy’s TurboFrac produced water recycling system (pictured) at a major oil producer’s site near Midland, Texas.

While in operation, the TurboFrac system processed produced water with a 72 percent fresh water recovery rate while reducing total dissolved solids from 102,000 mg/L to 40 mg/L, and reduced chlorides from approximately 84,000 mg/L to 16.5 mg/L or less. The system also produced a concentrated 10-pound brine of more than 400,000 mg/L.

The TurboFrac produced water recycling system is based on ThermoEnergy’s proprietary Controlled Atmosphere Separation Technology (CAST), a flash vacuum assisted distillation system that the company has deployed at more than 80 industrial sites in the US, as well as in Europe, Asia and Africa.

STW will provide hydraulic fracturing clients with water management services using ThermoEnergy’s TurboFrac technology that has high freshwater recovery rates and water quality, and reusable 10-pound brine at a cost below other water reclamation systems, the company says.

STW chief executive officer Stanley Weiner says the water produced during the pilot was tested though a certified third-party lab. Recycling produced water gives oil and gas companies both economic and environmental advantages compared to other treatment options and reduces the need for fracking operations to use limited freshwater resources, Weiner says.

ThermoEnergy systems can also process the water to quality levels suitable for agriculture, or safe disposal without the need for trucking to EPA approved disposal wells, says ThermoEnergy chairman and CEO James Wood.

ThermoEnergy is among the water technology firms looking to grow their business — and revenues — as oil and gas companies increasingly use recycled water in fracking operations.

Layne Christensen, a provider of water management services, expects its fracking-focused business to generate $200 million in revenue by 2017, Reuters reports. And utility Aqua America has said a water pipeline to supply frack sites will eventually add 10 cents per share to its annual earnings.

One portfolio manager told Reuters that companies such as water testing equipment manufacturer Xylem and pump maker Ecolab could see their earnings grow.

Also this week, Nuverra Environmental Solutions entered into an agreement with Halliburton to advance the treatment and recycling of produced water to be re-used in the fracking process. Nuverra will work with Halliburton in the Bakken Shale to utilize the Halliburton’s H20 Forward service for water re-use and recycling in fracking operations, which allows customers to recycle waste streams of produced water for use in well completions.


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