NEWS RELEASE JUNE 2010
Technology for Gulf Oil Spill and Gas Shale Fracing
Two major sources of energy for the U.S. are dependent upon the solution of environmental problems. The McIlvaine Company has a created a free website with the latest technology to solve these problems. Over the last three weeks a series of recorded webinars have been conducted on both subjects. The full recordings of the discussions have been posted to the free site. Here are some conclusions:
One of the biggest threats to oceanic and wetlands aquatic life from the oil spill is the reduction in dissolved oxygen. A greatly expanded monitoring program will be needed. Experts from ITT, Seabird, ThermoFisher, In-Situ, the Stennis Space Center, YSI and other organizations agreed that the worst action at present is to shut down monitors for fear of fouling from the spilled oil. It is critical to collect as much data as possible.
There was considerable debate about methods for dissolved oxygen data collection. There are differences of opinion on sensor technologies (electrochemical vs. optical) and about platforms (moorings, floating buoys and ships). None of the experts was comfortable in predicting the number of monitors needed and the best locations for them. The Gulf is already subject to depleted oxygen episodes caused by summer discharges of biomass from the Mississippi River. The marshes already experience low oxygen conditions. When these variables are combined with unknown quantities and pathways for the spilled oil, it will be necessary to conduct continuous and comprehensive measurements.
Extracting gas from the shale in Pennsylvania could solve the U.S. gas shortage problems for the next 30 years. The problem is the potential contamination of water supplies due to the large amounts of water need to fracture the shale. In the first webinar on the subject, MWH explained the problem and the new regulations on total suspended solids. The new limit will impact the disposal of the flow back fluid. In this same webinar, Aquatech provided details on zero liquid discharge treatment systems.
In the second recorded webinar, Integrated Water Technologies described the various processes for treating the flow back water from the shale fracturing process. Pump suppliers, Ruhrpumpen, Netzch and Linatex, described the positive displacement and centrifugal pumps used for the various processes. They addressed the selection of materials because of the corrosive fluids and the designs to meet the pressure requirements.
Future webinars will include the above subjects and more. McIlvaine publishes the Site Remediation Markets Newsletter and is writing about all the remediation initiatives. In the McIlvaine Water and Wastewater Treatment Chemicals report there is analysis of dispersants such as Nalco’s Corexit. There is also analysis of the more than 20 chemicals added with the gas shale frac water.
In the McIlvaine Sedimentation and Centrifugation report there is analysis of liquid-liquid centrifuges such as the one Kevin Costner described to Congress. Another type of centrifuge (basket) is used to separate the crystals in the shale gas flow back water. There is also analysis of other oil/water separators including dissolved air flotation.
The McIlvaine Valves: World Market report provides analysis of sub-sea valves including quarter turn ball, slab gate and check valves. It probes into the challenges of meeting the reliability high pressure and long life requirements in the corrosive remote environment. The McIlvaine Pumps: World Market report provides details on pumps for the range of applications from pumping dispersants to pumping mixtures of gas, water and oil.
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