The explosion in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has created a new set of demands, challenges and constraints for the use, supply, treatment and disposal of water.
The explosion in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has created a new set of demands, challenges and constraints for the use, supply, treatment and disposal of water.

The combined system, CLEAN-FRACTM 1000, incorporates both OriginOil’s EWS and TriSep’s iSep ultra filtration membrane. In tests with produced and flowback water, the system successfully removed oil, suspended solids and bacteria. Turbidity was reduced by 99.8%, total suspended solids were made undetectable, and oil in water was reduced by 99.2%.

CLEAN-FRAC integrates OriginOil’s EWS with a variety of “polishing” systems to deliver a wide range of purity levels that enable different reuse applications from re-injection into frac wells to potable drinking water. These systems include membranes, filters and resins. CLEAN-FRAC is commercially available as an integrated system for end to end solutions and at capacities up to 10,000 barrels per day.

“Our iSep can tolerate moderate levels of oil, however system performance is greatly enhanced if it is removed prior to our UF membrane, which EWS does at a removal rate exceeding 99%,” said Mike Snodgrass, iSep market manager at TriSep Corporation. “The iSep UF completely removed the last remaining suspended solids, microorganisms, and bacteria that passed through EWS, producing a crystal clear effluent.”

Fracking demands

The explosion in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has created a new set of demands, challenges and constraints for the use, supply, treatment and disposal of water. The US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 70 to 140 billion gallons of water were used in 2011 alone in hydraulic fracturing wells. BCC Research reports the market for equipment to treat wastewater from fracking operations and conventional wells is predicted to grow by 9% by 2018.

“Since the industry as a whole is striving to reuse 95-98% of frack water, we believe treatment using membranes will play a big role in achieving that goal,” said Bill Charneski, general manager of OriginOil’s Houston-based Petro Division.