Molecular Filtration, Inc. featured in Vol.9, No. 3 - 2012 GEOEXPRO MAGAZINE

Solving Hydraulic Fracturing ‘Controversies’ 

Hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a vast, new oil and gas resource from very tight rocks. Innovative developments in nanotechnology are poised to make hydraulic fracturing more efficient, accountable, and much safer for the environment. 

This article was published by THOMAS SMITH on GeoExpro Magazine, page 42 to 46

Water Cleanup and Tracers Hydraulic fracturing fluids are getting much safer and less toxic. “However, 25 to over 40% of these fluids return to the surface and, in addition to the fraccing fluids, may contain formation and heavy metals, while all contain organics and hydrocarbons making these fluids very dangerous,” according to Felipe Lembcke, CEO of Molecular Filtration, Inc. “This produced water needs to be treated on-site to reduce the carbon content to below the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards.”



Felipe Lembcke on location in Utah holding concentrate and the clean water after filtration that contains less than 6 ppm carbon (EPA standards require less than 9 ppm carbon) and no organics or bacteria. A portion of the truck-mounted field filtration unit is in the background which has operated continuously for 15 days with no fouling or loss of permeability of the membranes.



Waste water containing hydrocarbons can present a major pollution control problem to the industry. Filtration through traditional ceramic membranes that work on size exclusion requires a fairly high feed pressure of 4 to 8 bars and multiple layers that can become fouled by organics and cannot retain the small molecules such as xylene or benzene. “The nanofunctionalised membrane (the first organophobic ceramic membrane) requires less than a 2 bar feed pressure that will not become fouled by organics or show decay,” says Felipe. “The molecular forces in this membrane are so powerful that only water passes through. The cancer causing small molecules like xylene and benzene are retained by the membrane  along with all the other hydrocarbons, organics, bacteria, and viruses. This is all accomplished without the use of chemicals.”

Fraccing has received much bad press about contaminating ground water and polluting drinking water. “One way to remove doubt from the public and  government agencies is to introduce a unique tracer to your fraccing operation,” says Dr. Barron. “We can control the composition and design magnetic properties at the nano scale to manufacture non-toxic tracers that are easily detectable in ultrasmall quantities, water soluble, and not retained in the reservoir formation.

The first customer field trails are in development and tests may soon begin in west Texas.”


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