Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fracking Water You Can Drink

Looks like the wonderboys at MIT have developed a cheaper method for water recovery.  Implications are pretty huge.  This doesn't appear to be a jump in technology as it is a refinement of existing technology.


The water and other fluids used to open wells through hydraulic fracturing — also known as fracking — are a somewhat different matter, requiring other kinds of treatment and disposal. But a much bigger issue for the operators of these wells is the ongoing treatment of produced water, which represents a significant expense. This water is typically several times saltier than seawater, which makes it a particularly good candidate for treatment with the HDH process, Narayan says: Unlike membrane-based desalination systems, this system’s efficiency is unaffected by saltier water. In fact, he adds, “The biggest advantage is when you deal with high salinity.”

A leading journal on desalination technology, Water Intelligence Report, gave the system the highest rating awarded to any system for dealing with produced water.

The MIT team built a 12-foot-high test unit that has run continuously for weeks, producing about 700 liters of clean water a day. They have tested it using barrels of water from natural gas wells to demonstrate that it produces water clean enough to drink.

Their next step is to scale up to a plant about two to three times the size of this initial unit, which calculations show should be an optimal size. Narayan says he expects the first commercial plants could be in operation within about two years.

No comments:

Post a Comment