Environmentally Safe Friction Fluid for Hydraulic Fracturing Introduced
- Published: Thursday, 10 January 2013 13:41
Fracture treatments in methane wells may use hundreds of thousands of gallons of water per well, while deeper shale wells can use up to 10 million gallons of water to fracture just a single well. In a typical fracking fluid, there are a number of additives, including buffering agents; acids/bases; corrosion inhibitors; and organic solvents (many aromatics).
Many of the concerns communities have regarding hydraulic fracturing revolve around the environmentally suspect nature of the chemicals injected into the ground.
Eco-Frac has developed a low-flammability, non-toxic fracking formulation that utilizes propylene-based compounds. Virtually all of the ingredients used are either cleared by the FDA for use in food additive and/or cosmetics, or found to be generally recognized as safe (GRAS).
The formulation has an extremely low toxicity profile, easy to handle, and no aquatic toxicity issues. It is designed to mimic the actions of existing formulations by reducing friction/dissolving heavy hydrocarbon emulsions that may inhibit the flow of gas, according to the company.
The chemicals used are not strongly acidic/basic (have pH of 7) and have much higher flash points than the distillates currently used. The formulation is still amenable to trace additives such as corrosion inhibitors, buffers, or other minor components without altering the utility of the composition.