Fracking news reports and online discussions often make reference to fracking chemicals, fracking waste and fracking agents, but it can be hard to find a definitive list of exactly what chemicals used in fracking. We’ve taken a closer look at fracking chemicals, and what they do. This is the first part of our in-depth look at fracking chemicals. Stay tuned for part 2.
Acids are used to help dissolve minerals and create cracks in the rock bed. In the main, Hydrochloric Acid is the fracking acid of choice, thanks to its reactivity with rocks.
In order to keep reactions under control, it is necessary to introduce biocides which kill off bacteria present in the fracking water, which if left unchecked can react with fracking chemicals to create corrosive by-products. Biocides are considered a vital safety measure, with the most common fracking biocides being Glutaraldehyde, Quaternary Ammonium Chloride, and Tetrakis Hydroxymethyl-Phosphonium Sulfate.
Breaker chemicals are used to delay the breakdown of fracking gels, which naturally degrade into harmless compounds. Delaying the breakdown allows a longer period of effectiveness per injection, meaning that less chemicals have to be injected over the long term. The most commonly used fracking breaker agents are Ammonium Persulfate, Sodium Chloride, Magnesium Peroxide, Magnesium Oxide, and Calcium Chloride.
Fracking Clay Stabilizers
Used to ensure clay doesn’t swell, shift or behave unpredictably, clay stabilizers such as Choline Chloride, Tetramethyl ammonium chloride, and Sodium Chloride.
Fracking Corrosion Inhibitors.
Because fracking chemicals are used to corrode and crack rock, they also pose a risk to the metal piping used in fracking operations. To ensure that pipes don’t degrade and cause leaks, corrosion inhibitors such as Isopropanol, Methanol, Formic Acid, and Acetaldehyde are mixed with fracking chemicals.
We’ll be back soon with more information on fracking chemicals and fracking agents, so watch this space.