Monday, January 13, 2014
HOUSTON (AP) - Researchers believe they have found an unlikely way to decrease radioactivity found in some wastewater from hydraulic fracturing: Mix it with the hazardous drainage from mining operations.
Duke University professor Avner Vengosh says the discovery would allow oil and gas drillers to combine wastewater from the fracking process with acid drainage from mining - or any other salty water - and remove the solids that form. The water left behind then could be used to drill a new well.
Dealing safely with contaminated drilling fluids and having access to enough useable water for drilling is crucial to industry. Oil and gas drilling is booming due to hydraulic fracturing, which uses millions of gallons of chemical-laced water to crack thick layers of underground rock so fossil fuels can flow out.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.