Water Management and Treatment Hurdles On the banks of the Youghigheny River, Versailles, PA, 1919. Photo Courtesy McKeesport Historical Society. Located and Digitized by Joel Tarr, Carnegie Mellon. Kelvin B. Gregory, PhD
Hydraulic Fracture Overview Fracturing Fluid Contains 7-18 million liters of watermixed with sand and other chemical modifiers well stimulation Fracturing Fluid Pumped at high pressure into well to introduce fractures and carry proppant into the fissures. Water Returns to the surface as “Flowback” Flowback water stored prior to treatmentand/or disposal. Small volumes of water are coproduced over lifetime of wellis “Produced Water” and is managed independently. 300m 700m 1100m 1500m
Produced/Flowback Water Constituents Gregory et al, Elements 2011; Barbot et al, ES&T 2013
Water Management Hurdles in Pennsylvania CRISIS • Disposal • Deep-Well (Re)injection Few in PA • Ag Reuse Too salty • Dilution to WWTP 500 mg/L limit • Treatment • Membrane Technology $$$ • Thermal Distillation $$$$ • Freeze Thaw Evaporation Bad Climate • Artificial Wetlands Too salty
Characteristics of Crises • Unexpected Event • High-levels of uncertainty • Threaten high-priority needs • Heighten Anxiety • Belief that any action will have far-reaching consequences “I’ve got a wife, kids, a career—Jesus! I’m only twelve hours old! How did this happen to me?” • Seeger, et al (1998). "Communication, organization, and crisis". Communication Yearbook 21: 231–275. • Lebow, RN (1981) “Between Peace and War: The Nature of International Crisis
Crises: Two Perceptions related to Shale Energy 1) Solution to Crises • Energy Availability • Energy Costs • Energy Security • Municipal Economic • Unemployment • GHG Emissions 2) Cause of Crises • Air, Water, Soil Pollution • GHG Emissions • Infrastructure Degradation • Societal Degradation • Future Unemployment
Water Management Hurdles in Pennsylvania • Disposal • Deep-Well (Re)injection Few in PA • Ag Reuse Too salty • Dilution to WWTP 500 mg/L limit • Treatment • Membrane Technology $$$ • Thermal Distillation $$$$ • Freeze Thaw Evaporation Bad Climate • Artificial Wetlands Too salty Local Challenges Innovation & Local Solutions
Local Solutions: Reuse of Produced Water for HF Hydraulic Fracturing With Recycled Flowback Produced Water to New Well Produced Water to Impoundment Pretreatment Precipitation, Settling.
Recycling Leads to Large and Lengthy Impoundment Times • Mixed flowback and produced fluids • Large Impoundments • Lengthy Impoundment time • Evolving biogeochemistry What is happening in the impoundments w.r.t. metals and NORM ?
Microbial communities drive the evolution of impoundment chemistry, impact management Malodorous Compounds Volatile Sulfur Compounds Volatile Fermentation Products Degradation of toxic Hydrocarbon Determine Fate of Metals Fate and Naturally Occurring Radionuclides
Global Shale Plays in Water Stressed Regions Water management problems are local Solutions arise locally but have have global impacts. Cambay Basin