Chief chemist Timothy Keister of ProChemTech International Inc., Brockaway, Pa., received U.S. patent #8,834,726, “Treatment of Gas Well Hydrofracture Wastewaters.”
According to Keister, a certified water technologist and fellow of the American Institute of Chemists, the patent discloses a method of treating gas well hydrofracture wastewaters by chemically removing toxic barium as well as iron, manganese, suspended solids and radium. This produces a commodity chemical product called barite. The clarified brine then is further chemically treated to remove calcium, magnesium and strontium. The resulting stripped sodium chloride brine water is suitable for recycling as new hydrofracture makeup water, or it can be evaporated to make sodium chloride, common table salt. A further disclosed use is of acid mine drainage as a sulfate ion source for removal of the toxic barium (barite being barium sulfate).
The technology will be assigned to sister company Marcellus Resource Recovery Inc., according to ProChemTech, for use in proposed facilities for disposal of Marcellus gas shale wastewaters by conversion into chemical products. Marcellus Resource Recovery, Inc. holds an exclusive license to design, construct and operate complete sequential precipitation fractional crystallization process (SPFCP) turn-key facilities with capacities from 10,000 to 500,000 gal/day.
ProChemTech also notes that additional patents expanding the conversion of Marcellus wastewater into chemical products are pending, with issue expected in 2014.