• 2 minutes Rational analysis of CV19 from Harvard Medical School
  • 4 minutes While U.S. Pipelines Are Under Siege, China Streamlines Its Oil and Gas Network
  • 7 minutes Renewables Overtake Coal, But Lag Far Behind Oil And Natural Gas
  • 8 hours Joe Biden the "Archie Bunker" of the left selects Kamala Harris for VP . . . . . . Does she help the campaign ?
  • 1 hour Tesla Begins Construction Of World’s Largest Energy Storage Facility
  • 15 hours Trump Hands Putin Major Geopolitical Victory
  • 24 mins America Could Go Fully Electric Right Now
  • 9 hours Those Nasty White People and Camping Racism
  • 5 hours Will any journalist have the balls to ask Kamala if she supports Wall Street "Carried Interest" Tax Loophole
  • 3 hours In 1,267 days, Trump has made 20,055 false or misleading claims
  • 4 hours COVID&life and Vicious Circle: "Working From Home Is Not Panacea For Virus"
  • 3 hours Buying votes is cool now.
  • 11 hours The Truth about Chinese and Indian Engineering
  • 20 hours Brent above $45. Holding breath for $50??
  • 2 days China wields coronavirus to nationalize American-owned carmaker
  • 1 day Oil Tanker Runs Aground in Mauritius - Oil Spill
  • 2 days Open letter from Politico about US-russian relations
  • 2 days Trump is turning USA into a 3rd world dictatorship
Oil Prices Rise On Renewed Stimulus Hopes

Oil Prices Rise On Renewed Stimulus Hopes

Oil prices rose early on…

Here’s How Oil Could Skyrocket By 138%

Here’s How Oil Could Skyrocket By 138%

Oil prices have struggled to…

Futurity

Futurity

Futurity covers research news from the top universities in the US, UK, Canada and Australia

More Info

Premium Content

New Filter Recycles Water Usage at Fracking Sites

A new membrane-based filtering system is designed to reduce the amount of water and energy required for hydrofracking.

The system improves the efficiency of treating and safely reusing water used for hydraulic fracturing at drill sites, researchers say. The filter can produce up to 50 percent more water for reuse compared with other filtration systems, greatly reducing demand for fresh water.

In addition to producing a higher volume of purified water, the new filter system also operates at lower pressure than traditional systems, meaning significant energy savings.

The technology could help reduce the environmental impact and financial costs of fracking, which has seen intense growth during the past decade because of advances in horizontal drilling. As production continues to increase, the National Petroleum Council estimates that 80 percent of wells drilled during the next decade will require fracking.

“Recycling flowback water on-site offers a cost-effective solution that conserves water and energy, saves roads from wear and tear, and keeps production costs down,” says Dan Miller, a researcher working with Benny Freeman, professor of chemical engineering at the University of Austin at Austin. “Everyone who uses water and natural gas can benefit from this technology.”

As reported in the Journal of Membrane Science, the team’s pilot study tested a system of specially coated membranes, which are pliable sheet-like structures made out of plastic that act as a barrier, to filter contaminated water that returns to the surface after it is pumped down a well during fracking.

Related article: The Battle for Balcombe

The process of hydraulic fracturing pumps millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals down a well at high pressure to break, or fracture, shale rock to extract natural gas and oil trapped deep underground. Each well can use up to 6 million gallons of water during the hydraulic fracturing phase of production, which can last a week—the equivalent of nine Olympic-size pools.

The advantage of the team’s approach is a patented coating that makes membranes more resistant to damage caused by contaminants, also known as fouling. Mixtures of salt, oils, and other particles often clog membranes and cause significant, irreversible deterioration that shortens their lifespan.

The coating, which helps membranes last longer, is a water-based solution that can be easily applied to membrane surfaces by simply rinsing it through the recycling system.

“Our students developed the concept of using polydopamine as an adhesive coating that attracts a layer of tightly bound water molecules to protect membranes from direct contact with contaminants,” Freeman says. “This makes membranes more durable, easier to clean, and more energy efficient, which could reduce operational costs by half.”

Related article: Recycling: The Future of Fracking

Other membrane coating approaches must be applied before production is finalized and require new manufacturing methods or harsh chemicals that can cause deterioration.

More efficient membranes enabled the team to build a more compact system that is easier to move from drill site to drill site. These improvements make recycling at the drilling site a competitive alternative to conventional practices of either disposing of flowback water in wastewater wells or trucking it to treatment facilities.

“Disposal costs run $1.50 to $2 a barrel and transportation costs to disposal sites can add up to $4 a barrel,” Freeman says. “Recycling flowback water at the drill site can address both of these costs and make reuse a viable economic option.”

The team’s water recycling system is licensed by the University of Texas at Austin to Advanced Hydro Inc., which was founded by Freeman in 2009.

By. Marisa Meier


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News