Marcellus Shale water treatment has become an issue of contention and many people who take an interest in the welfare of our earth are striving for better solutions. This gas pocket stretches from West Virginia to New York State for about six hundred and fifty miles. With a possible five hundred trillion cubic feet of gas the mining activities use nine million gallons per day of water.
The liquid is mixed with sand and a gel to increase its flow ability. It is then pressure pumped into the mine to break the rock in order to gain access to the gas. Between two and four million gallons are used per well to achieve this fracturing. The majority of this moisture then returns to the surface. It has now also picked up contaminants from the earth.
Traces of many heavy metals, oil, soap and radiation have been found present. The most prominent being salt which could be as high as forty thousand parts per million. If untreated this results in severe corrosion to machinery and also detrimentally effects land and living organisms with which it comes into contact.
Generally this waste is then moved to another location where it is returned to the land untreated. This relocation requires approximately three hundred trucks making numerous trips per day. These trucks generate massive fuel emissions and have a detrimental effect on surrounding traffic. The resultant costs involved are very high.
Some similar mines have tried to resolve this issue by injecting the liquid back into the earth. This is known as a deep injection process. In the area in question this is not viable due to geographic characteristics. A more viable alternative is to treat the product on site. This would relieve the environmental impact and also be far more cost effective.
It was found that a portable plant that could be utilized on more than one site would be the most effective. The product could then be treated and around eighty percent recovered for reuse. As it is not removed to another location it is also available for further fracturing. The small remainder could then be relocated or even put through a more stringent treatment.
The issues still remains in question as to the most effective methods of dealing with the problem. Although the costs are high the value of this vital resource is maybe more than we realize. Environmentalists question the possible impact on the water supply in the area. If not handled correctly it is obvious that this could prove dangerously detrimental. Read more about: marcellus shale water treatment
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