Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2016ND315B

Glutaraldehyde Removal from Flowback and Produced Waters Using Photolysis

Institute: North Dakota
Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-01 End Date: 2017-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,000

Principal Investigators: Eakalak Khan, Sivaguru Jayaraman

Abstract: Glutaraldehyde (GA), the most common biocide used in hydraulic fracturing fluid, accounts for 80% of all shale fracturing. It is also used periodically to keep the number of bacterial cells low in the production well. GA is classified as a high level disinfectant due to its lethal action against all types of microorganisms. Since it is used extensively by the oil/gas industry, large amount of flowback and produced waters containing GA is generated. GA is a harmful chemical to environment, human and aquatic organisms. It is a very strong irritant that can cause severe injuries to eyes, skin and respiratory tract. In the environment, it is very toxic to aquatic organisms, especially algae, microorganisms, and fresh water fishes. In addition to its toxicity, the other obvious issue with GA in flowback and produced waters is the restriction of biological activities in the wastewater making biological treatment a non-viable alternative. This study aims to apply advanced treatment technology which is photodegradation to remove GA from oil-pretreated flowback and produced waters, since this technology has small footprints, easy to operate, and effective against organic compounds. The specific objectives of this research are: 1) Determine GA removal efficiency and kinetics by photodegradation; 2) Elucidate removal mechanism, pathways, intermediates, by-products, and end-products of GA photodegradation; and 3) Identify optimal operating conditions for photodegradation of GA.