Posting in Energy
Hydrofracking is creating a toxic bloom of wastewater. Industrial wastewater solution makers have devised new technologies to treat it, which reduce the need for chemicals, and can help solve other environmental problems.
A surge of toxic hydrofracking wastewater has given rise to new chemical free treatment technologies with the potential to solve other nagging environmental challenges ranging from coal mines and pig farms.
I recently spoke with Charles Vinick, CEO of Ecosphere Technologies, to learn about its ability to reduce oil and gas mining operations' dependence on chemicals that are potentially harmful to people and wildlife. Wells throughout the United States are injected with biocides, friction reducers, and scale inhibitors to protect equipment, but ultimately create a toxic brew of wastewater.
Ecosphere utilizes a proprietary oxidation process called "Ozonix" to treat industrial wastewater. Its energy subsidiary has built mobile treatment facilities with that can currently handle 5,000 gallons per minute. Water is "recycled" and can be reused in other wells, eliminating the need for an injection well to keep pollutants out of groundwater, said Vinick.
The technology has been approved by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission for soil farming, and third party laboratory tests has demonstrated a drastic reduction in microbes - from high to undetectable - after just one past, Vinick says.
Treating the water also eliminates the need for the aforementioned chemicals, but some mining operations will continue to use chemicals nonetheless to reduce risking their investment, Vinick added. "It is a cost effective alternative to chemicals. [Mines] wouldn't use it if it added costs."
Ozonix treated over 1 billion gallons of wastewater in 2011 at over 500 onshore oil and gas wells. Ecosphere's oil and gas revenues have increased 10X over the past two years. Other companies, including OriginOil, offer competing solutions. "Because states are persuading themselves to let fracking go on, they will create a booming market for cleanup," said Riggs Eckelberry, CEO of OriginOil.
However, water pollution is not limited to oil and gas. Ecosphere is in discussions to license its technology to companies that treat coalmining waste and pig farms located within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. It currently partners with Hydrozonix in the United States.
Vinick, who spent 25 years as managing director of the Cousteau group, believes that companies like Ecosphere are solution providers that will help solve the world's environmental problems.
"I think that you need activists and solution providers," he said.
(Image credits: Ecosphere Technologies)
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Jun 11, 2012
Until I see the Oil and Gas people and their families drink the water, I will not accept any of their hype.......... The whole energy process is ridiculous........1. We pollute the mountains, streams, and workers to extract coal, oil, gas, minerals........ 2, We spend fossil fuel polluting methods to transport the coal, oil, gas, minerals to an "Energy Production Plant", generally far from the source........ 3. The Energy Production Plants" produce more pollution, usually in combustion processes, to create energy - electricity which is far from the usage customers....... 4. The energy produced is sent on The Grid Infrastructure, which needs constant maintenance, is prone to breakdowns from natural disasters and old age before it delivers the energy to the consumer.......5. The Grid is outdated and needs constant management to try to prevent outages because it can not supply the needs.........6. The customer is forced to support an overly expensive system by paying taxes to the government to maintain the grid, AND paying increasingly costly monthly utility bills, and trying to abate the pollution caused by it........7. The whole system is not able to be controlled or operated economically because of the overly complicated system operated by unavailable forces unaccountable to the customers or nearby populations. Take away the subsidies, and it is obvious that the Grid system is unnecessarily and stupidly expensive........ Replace the Grid system with more local and smaller alternative systems networked, and the costs, pollution, maintenance, taxes, utility bills, all go down. The added plus is that it is controlled locally and you have a better chance of controlling it......... I have lived off the grid for over a quarter of a century on an old system with no loss of electricity, and no problems. I have all of the electricity I need, and all of the electric toys that a modern home has. I am now switching any gas or combustion needs to electric because it is so cheep, reliable and abundant for me as I produce my own supply. All this from an antiquated system which still works fine. Yes I could upgrade it, but I do not have to. My only wish is for the batteries to get better.
Shame on Congress for writing laws that allow any unknown substance to be pumped into the earth. Shame on the administration for not regulating that as well. Pols are nothing but smarmy lawyers writing smarmy legislation that you can slide a Transformer sized monster-truck through although they'll give it a real pretty name (title). Don't misunderstand, I am an "All of the Above" person and think the Obama administration 'winks' at their support for this policy. I think we should drill more, in more places and I believe that all our resources should be used until we get clean energy ready for prime-time; which at last reading is still 50-years or more in the future. We need to spur R&D to clean-up coal and other fossil fuels so that we can use those abundant resources to supply power we'll need or see our economy substantially falter. We need to promote the use of natural gas where possible. Nuclear energy should not be left out of the mix either. We should add R&D to develop technologies that make each resource as safe as possible. And, of course, we need to continue to put R&D monies to develop clean energies but we can't have clean energy sources that are prohibitively expensive; it would damage the poor and middle-class entirely and destroy any economy relying on them alone. Ideals are good but practicality is demanded in getting from here to there..
What do you use to generate the electricity you are storing in those batteries? If you have something that works so well I would love to try it myself if it fits my circumstances. Thanks.