General Electronics is launching a new machine to recycle water in a controversial gas drilling process which is called hydraulic fracturing.
In this process water is mixed with appropriate chemicals and sand and pumped at high pressure underground to create fissures in the rock and release the gas. This is also commonly known as ‘fracking’ in the industry.
Fracking uses a large amount of fresh water and creates gallons of wastewater. By using the truck sized transportable device General Electronics claims that the volume of waste water will be reduced. What the machine does is boil the used water and condenses the steam into distilled water.
The water can then be reused for fracking and so less contaminated water will have to be disposed off as well. The recycling of the water directly at the well site will cut down the need for fresh water between 50 to 90 % and will result in less waste water to be recycled. The GE mobile evaporator will be available early next year. It will be very useful wherever shale gas is mined.
The mobile evaporator is a 50-gallon per minute, horizontal, shell and tube, forced circulation, mechanical vapor recompression system. Unlike other treatment methods, thermal evaporation removes nearly all of the impurities in the water, allowing producers to easily meet the newly passed Pennsylvania discharge regulations of less than 500 TDS. The mobile evaporator is mounted on a single trailer that will allow it to reach the most remote drilling sites. Additionally, its unique design has been optimized for maximum energy efficiency.