Water treatment system proves successful in shale gas application

A water treatment system that can turn wastewater into clean water has been shown to reduce potential environmental impacts associated with producing natural gas from shale formations in the U.S. Appalachian basin.

Altela Inc.’s AltelaRain 4000 water desalination system was tested at BLX Inc.’s Sleppy well site in Indiana County, Penn. as part of a National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)-sponsored demonstration. During nine continuous months of operation, the unit treated 77 percent of the water stream onsite, providing distilled water as the product. The average treated water cost per barrel over the demonstration period was around 20 percent lower compared to the previous total conventional disposal costs at the site. The system also reduced the need for trucking wastewater from the site.

Based on field data generated from the NETL demonstration, Altela increased the efficiency of its technology by more than 30 percent. All of the clean water produced at the demonstration site was suitable for re-use for additional stimulations. It also was suitable to be discharged to surface waterways.

As a result of the DOE demonstration project, Altela designed larger towers for the system and four modules were sold and installed to treat around 100,000 gallons per day of produced and flowback water from hydraulic fracturing. This commercial installation is a 50-fold increase in capacity over the demonstration unit and represents the first of many planned facilities to be developed in the Marcellus Shale Basin and similar shale gas basins throughout the United States. 

Shale is fine-grained sedimentary rock that can be rich sources of petroleum and natural gas. According to the Energy Information Administration, U.S. shale gas production has increased 14-fold over the past decade and reserves have tripled. Tapping this resource with hydraulic fracturing (using pressurized liquids to fracture subsurface rock) and other techniques has played an increasingly important role in greater U.S. domestic oil and natural gas production over the past decade.

The water resources needed to hydraulically fracture the Marcellus Shale and the potential effects of hydraulic fracturing on surface and subsurface water sources have become key concerns for state legislatures, land owners and the public.

The Altela demonstration was one of nine research projects funded by NETL through the Office of Fossil Energy’s Oil & Natural Gas Program in fiscal year 2009. The nine projects, which have a total value of $10.2 million ($7 million DOE; $3.2 million cost share), are developing environmental tools and technologies to improve management of water resources, water usage, and water treatment required for shale gas development across the United States. Several additional demonstrations focusing on other water treatment technologies will be conducted during the remainder of fiscal year 2011.

Read more news and features on environmental controls.

Sponsored by FLSmidth

Related Articles

 Construction of Belarusian nuclear power plants on schedule

Construction of Belarusian nuclear power plants on schedule

The construction of two units at a Belarusian nuclear power plant is on schedule.

 US charges Duke with illegal pollution from 5 coal ash dumps

US charges Duke with illegal pollution from 5 coal ash dumps

Federal prosecutors filed multiple criminal charges against Duke Energy on Friday over years of illegal pollution leaking from coal ash dumps at five North Carolina power plants.

Follow Power Engineering on Twitter
Latest News

NuScale completes upper module mockup of small nuclear reactor

NuScale Power LLC said it completed fabrication and assembly of a full-scale, upper module mo...

Farley nuclear power plant goes offline for scheduled outage

Workers at the Farley nuclear power plant in Alabama took Unit 1 offline for a scheduled refu...

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy dedicates reactor training area

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) dedicated its new boiling water reactor under-vessel training...

Shell Chemical nears air permit for 250-MW power project in Pennsylvania

Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC is close to an air permit from the Pennsylvania Department of E...

NRG seeks Texas approval to buy power plant being moved from Mississippi

NRG Texas Power LLC applied March 27 at the Public Utility Commission of Texas for approval o...

VIDEO: One nuclear power steam generator’s trip to the Summer plant site

New video from Westinghouse Electric shows the journey the one steam generator took from the ...

Nation's biggest nuclear firm makes a play for green money

A big player in the troubled nuclear power industry is trying to change the rules of the ener...

Emerson awarded $76mn ultrasupercritical coal-fired automation project

Emerson Process Management, a subsidiary of Emerson (NYSE: EMR), was awarded a $76 million co...

Power Engineering Current Issue

02/01/2015
Volume 119, Issue 2
1502PE-cover
Products Showcase
Dynamic Fluoride Ion cleaning DFIC of industrial natural gas turbines Hi-Tech Furnace Systems

Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning of IGT Parts

The Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning (DFIC) Process from Hi-Tech Furnace Systems is able to clean deep, narrow cracks of oxides by cycling between negative, atmospheric, and positive pressure.

Archived Articles

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015

Power Industry Wire News

Ithaca Energy Inc. Announces 2014 Financial Results, Year-End Reserves & Operations Update

Ithaca Energy Inc. Announces 2014 Financial Results, Year-End Reserves & Operations Upd...

Yuma Energy, Inc. Announces 2014 Financial Results and Provides an Operational Overview

Yuma Energy, Inc. Announces 2014 Financial Results and Provides an Operational Overview

DEKRA to Present New Algorithm for Faster and More Reliable Advanced Driver Assistance Systems at SAE 2015 World Congress

DEKRA to Present New Algorithm for Faster and More Reliable Advanced Driver Assistance ...

Dozens of Local Companies to Participate at Converters Expo in the Heart of Green Bay

Dozens of Local Companies to Participate at Converters Expo in the Heart of Green Bay

Clear Measure Names Chief Architect, Hires Principal Software Engineers

Clear Measure Names Chief Architect, Hires Principal Software Engineers

Power Engineering

Article Archives for Power Engineering Magazine

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours

To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>