Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fracking Wastewater Research Funded by DOE

The U.S. Department of Energy today announced that 15 research projects relating to various technical and environmental aspects of shale gas development have been selected to receive a total of $28 million in funding from the DOE's Office of Fossil Energy. Of these, five are related to fracking wastewater issues...

University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)—Water Handling and Enhanced Productivity from Gas Shales. Using a combination of computer modeling, field tests, and laboratory experiments utilizing Marcellus Shale core samples, researchers will seek to improve understanding of the interactions between shale and fracturing fluids, and the impacts of such interactions on well productivity. The results will provide new guidelines on optimal choices for hydraulic fracturing treatment design and the treatment and reuse of fracture flowback water,. DOE share: $1,741,215; Recipient share: $506,027; Duration: 2 years

Southern Research Institute (Birmingham, AL)—Advanced Treatment of Shale Gas Frac Water to Produce NPDES Quality Water. The goal of this project is further development and optimization of four advanced water treatment technologies: two for fracturing flowback water treatment and two for treatment and disposal of residual high solid slurry and concentrated brine. The technologies are magnetic ballast clarification, vortex-generating and nanofiltration membranes, hydrogel adsorption, and a combination of precipitation, solidification and stabilization. DOE share: $2,488,919; Recipient share: $289,898; Duration: 2 years

Ohio University (Athens, OH)—Cost-Effective Treatment of Flowback and Produced Waters Via an Integrated Precipitative Supercritical (IPSC) Process. The objective of this project is to validate the performance and cost-effectiveness of the IPSC process to convert fracture flowback and produced water generated by unconventional shale gas wells into a clean water product. This technology combines ultraviolet light treatment, chemical precipitation, and an advanced supercritical reactor incorporating a hydrocarbon reforming catalyst. DOE share: $1,936,630; Recipient share: $500,160; Duration: 2 years

Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)—Development of Plasma Technology for the Management of Frac/Produced Water. The objective of this project is to further develop an integrated plasma water treatment system for improved management of fracturing flowback and produced water. The system will include plasma-induced water softening, plasma-assisted self-cleaning filtration, and vapor-compression distillation.DOE share: $1,574,690; Recipient share: $395,060; Duration: 2 years

Colorado School of Mines (Golden, CO)—Advancing a Web-Based Tool for Unconventional Natural Gas Development with Focus on Flowback and Produced Water Characterization, Treatment and Beneficial Use.The research team will develop a set of web-based tools that will support producers, regulators, and others in the effort to characterize, treat, beneficially use, and manage produced water and fracturing flowback water. Key elements include improved understanding of chemical compositions of flowback and produced waters, models to predict variability of produced water quality, a database of water qualities and quantities, and case studies from industry partners that illustrate and validate application of the tools. DOE share: $286,984; Recipient share: $106,796; Duration: 3 years

Source: NETL

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