Chemical and toxicological characterizations of hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced water

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review

38 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Shannon L. Flynn
  • Erik J. Folkerts
  • Yifeng Zhang
  • Dongliang Ruan
  • Daniel S. Alessi
  • Jonathan W. Martin
  • Greg G. Goss

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-87
Journal / PublicationWater Research
Volume114
Early online date14 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Hydraulic fracturing (HF) has emerged as a major method of unconventional oil and gas recovery. The toxicity of hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced water (HF-FPW) has not been previously reported and is complicated by the combined complexity of organic and inorganic constituents in HF fluids and deep formation water. In this study, we characterized the solids, salts, and organic signatures in an HF-FPW sample from the Duvernay Formation, Alberta, Canada. Untargeted HPLC-Orbitrap revealed numerous unknown dissolved polar organics. Among the most prominent peaks, a substituted tri-phenyl phosphate was identified which is likely an oxidation product of a common polymer antioxidant. Acute toxicity of zebrafish embryo was attributable to high salinity and organic contaminants in HF-FPW with LC50 values ranging from 0.6% to 3.9%, depending on the HF-FPW fractions and embryo developmental stages. Induction of ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity was detected, due in part to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and suspended solids might have a synergistic effect on EROD induction. This study demonstrates that toxicological profiling of real HF-FPW sample presents great challenges for assessing the potential risks and impacts posed by HF-FPW spills.

Research Area(s)

  • Aquatic toxicity, Aryl phosphate esters, Hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced water (HF-FPW), PAH, Synergistic effect

Citation Format(s)

Chemical and toxicological characterizations of hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced water. / He, Yuhe; Flynn, Shannon L.; Folkerts, Erik J.; Zhang, Yifeng; Ruan, Dongliang; Alessi, Daniel S.; Martin, Jonathan W.; Goss, Greg G.

In: Water Research, Vol. 114, 01.05.2017, p. 78-87.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review