Chesapeake’s Fracking Wastewater Treatment Technology

Chesapeake Energy, the nation’s second-largest natural gas producer, has pioneered a new technology that allows them to recycle up to 100 percent of fracking wastewater to be reused on new wells being fracked. The technology, called Aqua Renew (video embedded below) means less wastewater going either to municipal treatment facilities or injection wells for disposal.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. says its new system for treating wastewater from gas wells in eastern Ohio can dramatically reduce the amount of brine going into injection wells for disposal.

Called Aqua Renew, the system can process anywhere from 250 to 300 42-gallon barrels of wastewater per hour and operates 16 hours per day and 7 days per week, according to the company. The system can recycle up to 100 percent of produced water, Chesapeake officials said.

The Oklahoma-based company also says recycling the water would reduce the amount of fresh water needed for subsequent drilling.*

*Warren (OH) Tribune Chronicle (Feb 11, 2012) – Firm: System treats brine

The embedded video below points out an interesting fact: Drilling for natural gas takes 5 times less the amount of water required to mine an equivalent amount of coal energy, and 1000 (!) times less than an equivalent amount of ethanol energy.

  • Anonymous

    Recycling is great, but you seem to have bought into the hype in Chesapeake’s press release.

    First “pioneered a new technology” is just filtering.   All that happens is water passes through two filters, the first 100 micron then 20 micron.  No dissolved chemicals are removed, such as salt.

    Second, “recycled up to 100 percent” means anything between 0 and 100.  I doubt that it can be more than say 95% because some water has to carry off the sediment that collects on the filter.  And in the real world, it never goes as well as in the lab.  I’d like to see some percentages from operations.

    What is more this process could work with flowback, but produced water is so salty, 10 to 35% salt, that little of it could be mixed with fresh water and resulting mix still be suitable for fracing.

    That said, any amount that is recycled is progress.

  • Anonymous

    What happens to the contaminated slude tha is removed. And is it even possible to filter out radioactivity?

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