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10 Emerging Technologies in the Energy Industry


5
Clean the Fracking Water
Engineers on the drilling platform of the Cuadrilla shale fracking facility on Oct. 7, 2012 in Preston, Lancashire.
Engineers on the drilling platform of the Cuadrilla shale fracking facility on Oct. 7, 2012 in Preston, Lancashire.
Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

Fracking (or hydraulic fracturing, for those of you who don't like to even sound like you might be swearing a little bit) for natural gas is a controversial practice. On the up-side, it's giving us access to more natural gas in our very own country, which makes it cheaper. On the down-side, huge amounts of water are necessary to get the gas out of the ground, and there are lots of chemicals involved that end up being stored...or not.

But wait! A company called Ecosphere has a solution that eases some of the fracking nastiness. It has developed a way to use ozone to replace some of the fracking chemicals. The process involves creating free radicals in the used fracking water, which help disinfect it. Then an electric current is run through the water, which makes any salts in the water drop to the bottom where they can be removed.

Once the water is disinfected and desalinated, it can be used again in the fracking well. Since one well can use up to 4 million gallons of water, any reuse that can be squeezed out of that water, however fracking imperfect, is still a fracking improvement.


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