Estimates suggest that in the next 50 years, over one trillion gallons of water will be used in shale gas extraction but research from scientists in the US suggests that environmentally detrimental compounds are being created when this fluid is recycled.
Shale gas is found in rock formations kilometres underground. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, facilitates the release of this energy dense fuel in a cost-effective and timely manner. Water, sand and a combination of other additives are pumped into the ground at high pressure, breaking the shale formations apart, allowing the gas to migrate to the surface where it can be collected.
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Organic compounds in produced waters from shale gas wells
Samuel J. Maguire-Boyle and Andrew R. Barron
Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4EM00376D, Paper