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LIFE CYCLE IMPACT AND BENEFIT TRADEOFFS OF A PRODUCED WATER AND ABANDONED MINE DRAINAGE CO-TREATMENT PROCESS
Wang, Y., S. Tavakkoli, V. Khanna, R.D. Vidic, and L.M. Gilbertson.
Environmental Science & Technology 52(23):13995-14005(2018)

A process for combined treatment of two high-volume wastewater resources, produced water and mine drainage, has been developed and demonstrated at pilot scale to aid in management of wastewater resources in Pennsylvania. Co-treating mine drainage and produced water can be beneficial because, while the chemical composition of each fluid varies from site to site, the two by-products share opposite amounts of barium and sulfates that can be removed via precipitation when combined. The resulting fluid can be used to replace freshwater in future fracking operations, while the barite produced by the process can be used in drilling operations. Primary tradeoffs include co-treatment process environmental impacts, transportation impacts, and environmental benefits realized from preventing direct mine drainage release to the environment. Electricity use was found to be the dominant contributor to all impact categories. See a report on earlier work on AMD/process water co-treatment at https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1183700-sustainable-management-flowback-water-during-hydraulic-fracturing-marcellus-shale-natural-gas-production.



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