NORM Removal from Frac and Produced Waters by EPT EOX Treatment

Texas, United States of America

Ground Effects has successful removed NORMs from frac flowback and produced waters by the EPT EOX treatment.

The Situation

Naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) is material found in the environment that contains radioactive elements of natural origin. NORM primarily contains uranium and thorium (elements that also release radium and radon gas once they begin to decay) and potassium.

NORM is often found in its natural state in rocks or sand. It can also be associated with oil and gas production residue (such as mineral scale in pipes, sludge and contaminated equipment), coal ash (produced from burning coal for energy production) and on filter media (such as the used filters from municipal drinking water treatment equipment).  During the hydraulic fracturing process, the flowback water often has higher than background concentrations of NORM, requiring special handing and disposal.  The management and disposal of NORM contamination is extremely costly and can create an unsafe work environment. 


The Solution

Ground Effects successfully treated NORM contaminated waters from frac flowback and produced water from oil and gas activities.  Using a modified EPT EOX system, the NORM concentration following treatment was decreased to well below background or non detect.  As such, the natural accumulation of NORM material can be easily and safely removed, allowing for the treated water to be disposed of or reused. 

The Results

The EPT EOX treatment system reliably and consistantly removes 75-99% of NORMs from frac water and produced water from Oil and Gas activities.  This unique technology has the ability to break down this contamination, removing dissolved NORM, into a non radioactive and often fully oxidized form now available for removal.  While removing this radioactive contaminant, the origin water chemistry mains untouched. 

The key parameters measured through gamma spectroscopy were Ra 226 and Ra 228, measured in pCi/g. 

Gamma Spectroscopy Analysis % Reduction from Initial Ra-226 % Reduction from Initial Ra-228
Site 1 78.6% 89.5%
Site 2 96.5% 98.3%
Site 3 89.9% 93.9%
Site 4 100% 95.6%
Site 5 90.4% 100%

Location

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