WVU Scores Another $4M Grant – to Study Produced Water

(WVU Photo by M.G. Ellis) — Paul Ziemkiewicz, Director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute at WVU, and Jay Hewitt, Northeast Natural Energy, work at the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory in Morgantown.

At the end of 2014 West Virginia University (WVU) scored a major grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy, which forked over $11 million to WVU and Ohio State University to conduct a five-year project to study “baseline measurements, subsurface development and environmental monitoring” in the Marcellus and Utica Shale (see WVU/OSU Get $11M Grant to Study Shale Energy Best Practices). WVU’s efforts are yielding fruit. In July we told you that WVU had studied frack waste and pronounced it safe (see Independent Research @ WVU Concludes Frack Waste is Safe). We’d call that a good use of taxpayer money! One of the innovations WVU has been working on is “green” drilling mud, a more environmentally-friendly drilling mud used to drill Marcellus/Utica wells (see WVU Effusive Over “Green” Drilling Fluid Used in Test Wells). WVU has done it again. WVU, along with the University of Kansas, has just been awarded a $4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study “produced water”–which is water from the depths that comes out of the borehole long after drilling and fracking are done. This naturally occurring water is super salty–far more salty (with minerals) than sea water. Typically drillers will either recycle it and reuse it for more drilling and fracking, or dispose of it via an injection well. WVU and KU are charged with developing “cutting-edge strategies for better management, treatment, protection and recovery of produced water.” Here’s the announcement and good news that WVU is on the case for better handling of produced water…

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