As the water footprint created by hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling continues to grow in the US, water management issues are projected to become more challenging, Industrial WaterWorld reports. Fortunately, technical advancements and new initiatives are beginning to address water access, reuse and recycling issues.
Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA), a nonprofit established by the EPA, is developing a GIS-based tool in collaboration with Colorado State University that aims to optimize the management of fluids from unconventional gas production. The goal of the new tool is to enable sustainable gas production while minimizing potential impacts on natural water resources, public health and the environment.
Boston-based Gradiant has commissioned two commercial treatment facilities in the West Texas Permian Basin that combine high water recovery rates with automation and require less energy and chemical use. The first facility was built in 2013 and uses Gradiant’s carrier gas extraction (CGE) technology in combination with other technologies to treat and convert 100 percent of shale flowback and produced water into reusable water resources. The CGE process incorporates a continuous, atmospheric-pressure, ambient-temperature desalination technique that uses a carrier gas to extract fresh water from high-salinity brines.
The second facility, completed in late 2014, is based on Gradiant’s selective chemical extraction (SCE) technology, which also is deployed with complementary technologies to treat 100 percent of shale flowback and produced water and generate a clean, reusable brine. SGE is a multi-step treatment process that can be customized to meet any effluent quality and is capable of oil and grease removal, H2S stripping, VOC and semi-volatile removal, ion-specific removal and lamella clarification.
STW Resources Holding subsidiary, STW Water Process & Technologies, is also working on a desalination technique. Last month, STW conducted a demonstration of its exclusively licensed Salttech Dynamic Vapor Recompression (DyVaR) zero liquid discharge (ZLD) water processing technology at the Texas State Capitol in Austin.
Photo: fracking extraction via Shutterstock.