February 25, 2015

CU-Boulder technology could make treatment and reuse of oil and gas wastewater simpler, cheaper

(Feb.25,2015)  Oil and gas operations in the United States produce about 21 billion barrels of wastewater per year. The saltiness of the water and the organic contaminants it contains have traditionally made treatment difficult and expensive.

Engineers at the University of Colorado Boulder have invented a simpler process that can simultaneously remove both salts and organic contaminants from the wastewater, all while producing additional energy. The new technique, which relies on a microbe-powered battery, was recently published in the journal Environmental Science Water Research & Technology as the cover story.