5 Technologies and Methods that can make Fracking Cleaner

  1.  Using water-less fracking systems:
    • Traditional fracking systems use large amounts of water, therefore using water-free fracking systems can save a lot of water. This system may have other advantages, for example the company, GasFrac, uses gelled fluid containing propane instead of water in their fracking system. Using the fluid GasFrac uses can gather the same result as using water, but uses just one-eighth of the liquid and pumps the liquid at a lower rate (Kiger, 2014).
  2. Replace fresh water with recycled water or brine:
    • Besides using water-less fracking system, recycled water and brine also works perfectly in fracking system. Using recycled water and brine conserves freshwater as well as reduces the water pollution caused by traditional fracking systems. According to Patrick J. Kiger, a producer in northeastern Canada uses deep subsurface saline water in its fracking system instead of fresh water (Kiger, 2014).
  3. Replace diesel powered equipment:
    • Diesel powered equipment produces poisonous pollutants and greenhouse gas when used to drill or pump wells. Therefore, replacing diesel-powered equipment with engines that use natural gas or solar panels will reduce the large amount of harmful gases emitted and lower the overall damage to the environment.
  4. Introduce wastewater purification:
    • Hydraulic fracking produces more wastewater than the amount of oil it produces. According to Kiger, the wastewater contains chemically treated water and natural water from rock formation (Kiger, 2014). The wastewater is usually shipped to special storage facilities that are underground, however, treating wastewater can greatly reduce pollution cause by wastewater. The treated water can also be reused in the fracking system.
  5. Reduce methane leaks:
    • One major concern of fracking is methane leaks. According to Kiger, a “recent study concluded U.S. methane emissions are likely 50 percent higher than official government estimates”, so reducing methane leaks will not only reduce the damage to the environment, but also help companies to save money by reducing the loss of a major component of natural gas, methane (Kiger, 2014). There are two improvements that can reduce methane leaks, one of them is using infrared camera that can detect leaks at fracking sites. The other improvement is replacing traditional pressure-monitoring pneumatic controllers to lower-bleed designs. According to Kiger, a nation wide movement to replace those controllers can reduce methane leaks by up to 35 billion cubic feet each year (Kiger, 2014). Replacing conventional controllers, turning off currently used chemical injection pumps, and replacing them with solar-power pumps can reduce up to 5.9 billion cubic feet of emissions (Kiger,2014).



Kiger, P. J. (March,2014). Green Fracking? 5 Technologies for Cleaner Shale Energy.

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