Fracking: Economics vs Environment: Reducing the environmental footprint of methane from fracking operations #ACSPhilly PRES

To be presented at the American Chemical Society Fall National Meeting in August 2016, Philadelphia, PA

ABSTRACT SYMPOSIUM NAME: Fracking: Economics vs Environment-Invited,Oral
TITLE: Reducing the environmental footprint of methane from fracking operations
AUTHORS (FIRST NAME, LAST NAME): Jennifer L. Maclachlan1John N. Driscoll1
INSTITUTIONS (ALL): 1. PID Analyzers, LLC, Sandwich, MA, United States. 

Shale has become a major source of fuel in the US and that brought a booming economy to a number of states and allowed more gas for industrial usage thereby reducing pollution. With the recent reduction in fuel prices, it may be difficult to make reasonable profits on these operations.
There are environmental issues associated with hydraulic fracking including the waste water (chemicals added to keep the pores open and the gas flowing) methane leaks from fractures in the shale, and leaks into the ecosystem (groundwater, marshes, drinking water, etc.).
Neighbors are concerned with methane getting into wells, drinking water, and marshes or rivers nearby. To reduce the loss of methane, the leaks have to be found and plugged and nearby aqueous sources have to be tested and monitored.
We have developed a portable GC with a flame ionization detector (FID) that weighs about 6 pounds and is easy to use, This can measure ppb levels of methane with a precision of +/- 5%. A head space method will allow the detection of low ppb levels of methane in soil or water, This will allow methane leaks to be found and tracked to their source. If the leaks are found and repaired, it could solve the environmental issues and perhaps allow more methane to be collected.


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