Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Energy News  




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















CIVIL NUCLEAR
Report finds additional radioactive materials in gas-well drill cuttings
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 23, 2016


Solid waste from horizontal gas wells contains radioactive material that ends up in landfills. Image courtesy American Chemical Society. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Hydraulic fracturing has boosted U.S. energy production while coming under scrutiny for its potential environmental impacts, mostly related to the wastewater the method generates. Now, a report in the ACS journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters takes a look at solid waste from horizontal gas wells.

The study found that some well waste from the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania contained radioactive material not previously reported, with the potential for leaching from landfills into the environment.

Drilling horizontal wells for hydraulic fracturing operations results in a large amount of gooey solid waste, or drill cuttings. In 2011, natural gas exploration and extraction in the Marcellus Shale formation produced an estimated 2.37 million tons of cuttings in Pennsylvania alone with almost all of it ending up in landfills, according to a review published in Environmental Practice.

A few studies have found naturally occurring radioactive materials in the solid waste, but the research only focused on several long-lived radioactive isotopes including uranium-238 and radium-226. Andrew W. Nelson and colleagues wanted to investigate whether other radioactive isotopes might be in drill cuttings and whether they could impact the environment.

The researchers devised a method to test the drill cuttings from horizontal wells in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. In addition to uranium-238 and radium-226, the researchers report the samples contained elevated levels of the environmentally persistent radioactive isotopes uranium-234, thorium-230, lead-210 and polonium-210.

A simulation of leaching over a range of acidity levels suggested that at low pH, uranium isotopes readily leached from drill cuttings, which raises questions as to whether uranium will seep into the environment from a landfill.

Other isotopes appeared less leachable under the conditions tested. Leaching for all radionuclides declined as pH increased. The researchers say that because they were only able to obtain three samples from one well, the findings aren't generalizable.

But, they add, their study demonstrates that further testing is needed to understand what is in solid waste from the country's proliferating horizontal wells and whether it might pose any environmental risks.

Research Report


Comment on this article using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

.


Related Links
American Chemical Society
Nuclear Power News - Nuclear Science, Nuclear Technology
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com






Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
CIVIL NUCLEAR
Chemistry research breakthrough that could improve nuclear waste recycling technologies
Manchester, UK (SPX) Dec 23, 2016
Researchers from The University of Manchester have taken a major step forward by describing the quantitative modelling of the electronic structure of a family of uranium nitride compounds - a process that could in the future help with nuclear waste recycling technologies. This research has been published in the leading multi-disciplinary journal Nature Communications. "In this nuclea ... read more


CIVIL NUCLEAR
Biomass operations aren't currently feasible in rural communities

Molecular Velcro boosts microalgae's potential in biofuel, industrial applications

Ultrafast lasers reveal light-harvesting secrets of photosynthetic algae

People willing to pay more for new biofuels

CIVIL NUCLEAR
Stability challenge in perovskite solar cell technology

Tesla, Panasonic team up for solar power

First movie of energy transfer in photosynthesis solves decades-old debate

Ohio keeps renewable energy standards

CIVIL NUCLEAR
The answer is blowing in the wind

French power group aims to double wind capacity

New rules for micro-grids in Alberta

Offshore wind makes U.S. debut

CIVIL NUCLEAR
China to build $1.5 billion power line across Pakistan

MIT Energy Initiative report provides guidance for evolving electric power sector

Toward energy solutions for northern regions

Energy-hungry Asia slowing down, lender says

CIVIL NUCLEAR
World's smallest electrical wire made from world's smallest diamonds

Lifetime of organic light-emitting diodes affected by impurities in vacuum

Bright future for energy devices

Scientists build bacteria-powered battery on single sheet of paper

CIVIL NUCLEAR
In Spain first, Madrid bans half of cars to fight smog

China's smoggiest city closes schools amid public anger

RIT researchers estimate 10,000 metric tons of plastic enter Great Lakes every year

Planes grounded as smog chokes China for fifth day

CIVIL NUCLEAR
US Shale Is Now Cash Flow Neutral

Iran okays 29 companies for oil and gas projects

Crude oil prices strong out of 2017 gate

A first for European energy with French LNG

CIVIL NUCLEAR
Small Troughs Growing on Mars May Become 'Spiders'

All eyes on Trump over Mars

Opportunity performs several drives to ancient gully

Full go-ahead for building ExoMars 2020




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement