List of 78 Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid in Pennsylvania

UPDATE (July 6): It seems the list below is not completely accurate, as admitted by the PA DEP. The list below includes chemicals and substances stored on site (like diesel fuel and oil) that are not injected into the ground. MDN will furnish an updated list when it becomes available from the DEP.

An earlier version of the list, provided by DEP to the Associated Press and published in newspapers throughout the state this week, purportedly included all of the chemicals used in Pennsylvania during the gas extraction process called hydraulic fracturing. Instead, it included not just the chemicals pumped deep underground but also those stored or used on a well site, including fuel for vehicles and brake fluid.

“You can blame it on me,” Scott Perry, the director of DEP’s Bureau of Oil and Gas Management, said on Wednesday.

The original list was a compilation of the chemicals identified on safety documents called material safety data sheets that hydraulic fracturing contractors must submit to the department, but he did not realize that it included substances the contractors use both above and below ground on a well site, he said. The second list was winnowed by a DEP chemist, who recognized that some of the chemicals on the initial list are not among those injected underground during the fracturing process.

Of the 83 chemicals on the list published by the AP and the 78 on the list posted by the DEP, only 37 items are in common.

Three compounds specifically addressed in the AP article because of the risks they can pose to human health – naphthalene, toluene and xylene – are not on the list of hydraulic fracturing chemicals DEP posted on its website on Wednesday.

Scranton Times Tribune (July 1) – DEP shale chemical lists at odds over inclusion of above ground substances

Original post from June 30…

Using Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) from drillers, along with analysis of fracking fluid, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has released an updated list of 78 chemicals they say are found in fluids used by gas drillers in PA (called “fracking fluids”). MDN has obtained the list of 78 chemicals and reproduced it below. There is also a downloadable version at the end of this posting.

There are many nasty chemicals in this list, no one disputes that. But here’s a few things to keep in mind:

  1. No one knows how much of these chemicals are being used by any given driller. We do know that fracking fluid is composed of less than one percent of the chemicals in this list, with water and sand making up the other 99 percent.
  2. When fracking fluid is pumped into the ground, the vertical hole down which it’s pumped is lined with concrete to protect surface water supplies from chemicals. The fracking fluid goes down some 5,000 feet to where it’s used to help break rock apart releasing the natural gas, and then most of the fluid is pumped back out again and carted away where it’s treated at a regulated and approved facility. For the fluid that stays behind, it’s down some 5,000 feet. That’s almost a mile of solid rock between where it sits and surface water supplies (which are located at about 300 feet). There’s no way any of that fluid will “seep up” into water supplies. And remember that most fluid is pumped back out again. So less than one percent of the fluid are chemicals from this list, and most of that comes out again, leaving behind a very very small amount of chemicals a mile below the surface and heavily diluted by water and sand.
  3. Compare the list below with the labels on the containers under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You’ll find some of the same names on the labels.
  4. One last thing to keep in mind: No driller uses all of these chemicals. In fact, Range Resources has openly discussed what they use in their fracking fluid:

Range Resources, which uses contractor Frac Tech for its fracing work, says its frac fluid additives are chosen from a list of only nine compounds — hydrochloric acid, methanol propargyl, polyacrylamide, glutaraldehyde, ethanol, ethylene glycol, alcohol and sodium hydroxide.*

Chemicals Used in the Hydraulic Fracturing Process in Pennsylvania
Prepared by the Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Oil and Gas Management
Compiled from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) obtained from Inustry

Updated June 10, 2010

Chemical Product Name
2,2-Dibromo-3-NitrilopropionamideBio Clear 1000/Bio Clear 2000/ Bio-Clear 200/BioRid20L/ EC6116A
2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-oneX-Cide 207
5-chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-oneX-Cide 207
Acetic AcidFe-1A Acidizing Composition/ Packer Inhibitor
Acetic AnhydrideFe-1A Acidizing Composition
AcetyleneGT&S Inc./ Airco
Alcohol EthoxylatedC12-16 NE-200
Alkyl benzene sulfonic acidTetrolite AW0007/ FR-46
Ammonia (aqueous)FAW-5
Ammonium BifluorideABF 37%
Ammonium PersulfateAP Break
Ammonium BisulfiteTechni-Hib 604/ Fe OXCLEAR/ Packer Inhibitor
Ammonium chlorideSalt Inhibitor
Ammonium Salt (alkylpolyether sulfate)Tetrolite AW0007
Amorphous silicaTerraProp Plus/ Bituminous Coal Fly Ash ASTM C618
Benzoic AcidBenzoic Acid
Boric AcidBC-140/ Unilink 8.5
Boric OxideXLW-32
Calcium ChlorideDowflake
Calcium OxideBituminous Coal Fly Ash ASTM C618
carboxymethylhydroxypropyl guar blendUnigel CMPHG
Choline ChlorideClay Treat-2C
CinnamaldehydeENVIROHIB 2001
Citric AcidFerrotrol 300L/ IC-100L
Complex polyamine saltClay Master-5C
Crystalline Silica: Cristobalite 
Crystalline Silica: QuartzSilica Sand/ / Atlas PRC/ Best Sand/ Bituminous Coal Fly Ash ASTM C618
Cupric chloride dihydrateFerrotrol 280L
Cured resinLiteProp 125
Diethylene GlycolScaletrol 720/ Scaletrol 7208


EO-C7-9-iso-, C8 rich-alcoholsNE-940/ NE-90
EO-C9-11-iso-, C10-rich alcoholsNE-940/ NE-90
Ethoxylated AlcoholFRW-14/ SAS-2/ Flomax 50/ WFR-3B
Ethyl AcetateCastle Thrust
Ethyl AlcoholFAW-5/ Castle Shop Solv/ Dallas Morris
EthylbenzeneNDL-100/ PARANOX/ Uniflo II
EthylbenzeneNDL-100/ PARANOX/ Uniflo II
Ethylene GlycolENVIROHIB 2001/ ICA-2/ LEB 10X/ Scaletrol
720/ Sceletrol 7208/ CC 300/ Clachek A/ Clachek
LP/ Ironsta II B/ NCL-100/ BC 140/ NCL-100/
Flomax 50/ NCL/ Scalehib 100/ Unihib O/ Unilink 8.5
Formic AcidENVIROHIB 2001
Gluconic AcidInterstate ICA-2
GlutaraldehydeAlpha 114/Alpha 125/ ICI-150
GlycerolBio Sealers
Glycol EthersENVIROHIB 2001/AMPHOAM 75/ PARANOX/ Uniflo II/ Unifoam/ WNE-342LN
Guar GumPROGUM 19 GUAR PRODUCT/ Unigel 19XL/ Benchmark Polymer 3400/ WGA-15/ Unigel 5F
Hydrochloric AcidHydrochloric Acid (HCL)/ TETRAClean 542/ Muriatic Acid
Hydrochloric Acid 3% – 35%Hydrochloric Acid 3% – 35%
IsopropanolAFS 30 Blend/ FAC-1W/ FAC-3W/ MA-844W/ NE-23/ NE-940/ Flomax 50/ Tetrolite AW0007/
FMW25 Foamer/ CS-2
Isopropyl AlcoholNFS-102/ WFT-9511/ LT-32/ AR-1/ Flomax 50/ NDL-100/ Unibac/ Uniflo II/ Uniflo/ Unihib O/

AFS 30 Blend/ NE-200/ Activator Superset-W/ CI-14/ FAW-5/ GasFlo/ Inflo-250W/ LT-32/ NE-940/
XLW-32/ Tetrolite AW0007/ FMW25 Foamer/ 40 HTL Corrosion Inhibitor/ NE 100/ HAI-OS Acid
Inhibitor/ Unibac/ NE-90/ Packer Inhibitor

Methyl AlcoholClearbreak 400/ Super Surf/ Castle Shop Solv
Methyl SalicylateBio Sealers
n-butanolAirFoam 311
NitrilotriacetamideSalt Inhibitor
Phenolic ResinAtlas PRC
Polyethylene GlycolNE-940/ EC6116A/ NE-90
Polyethylene Glycol MixtureBio Clear 2000/ Bio-Clear 200
Polyoxylalkylene sulfateFMW25 Foamer
Polysaccharide BlendGW-3LDF
Potassium CarbonateBF-7L
Potassium ChlorideDowflake
Potassium HydroxideB-9, pH Increase Buffer/ BXL-2
Propargyl AlcoholCI-14/ HAI-OS Acid Inhibitor
Propylene GlycolSAS-2/ WFR-3B
SilicaS-8C, Sand, 100 mesh/ Montmorillnonite clay
Sodium BicarbonateK-34
Sodium BromideBioRid 20L
Sodium HydroxideCaustic Soda/ ICI-3240/ BioRid B-71
Sodium PersulphateHigh Perm SW-LB
Sodium Xylene SulfonateFAC-2/ FAC-3W
Sulfuric AcidSulfuric Acid
SurfactantsAFS-30/ GasFlo/ Inflo-250W
TalcAdomite Aqua
Tetrakis(hydroxymethyl)phosphonium sulfateMagnacide 575 Microbiocide
Tetramethyl ammonium ChlorideClay Treat-3C
Trimethyloctadecylammonium chlorideFAC-1W/ FAC-3W


Download Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing in PA list

*Pittsburgh Business Times (June 30) – DEP releases new list of frac chemicals; used in Marcellus, other Pa. operations