Dust Suppression with Appalachian Basin Oil and Gas Produced Water: Efficacy and Water Quality
Nathaniel Warner, PhD, Assistant Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
The Pennsylvania State University
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Who should attend: Anyone in the community interested in the potential beneficial use of oil and gas produced water for dust suppression or deicing.
Webinar Overview: Oil and gas produced waters (OGPW) are spread on roads for dust suppression and/or deicing in Pennslvania and at least 11 other states in the United States. Typically, these OGPWs are saltier than seawater and reffered to as brines, whose chemical compositions are somewhat similar to commercial inorganic products commonly used for dust suppression (e.g., calcium chloride or magnesium chloride). However, OGPW is not a pure solution of calcium chloride (CaCl2) or magnesium chloride (MgCl2) or sodium chloride (NaCl). Instead, OGPW from formations in the Appalachian Basin, including western Pennsylvania, are typically classified as Na-Ca-Cl waters containing a blend of alkali metals (Na, K, Li) and alkaline earth metals (Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba) charge-balanced primarily by chloride. The ratio between alkali metals to alkaline earth metals in brines and OGPW is expected to be one of the key factors with respect to dust suppressant efficacy (Graber et al., 2019). OGPWs also contain a variety of contaminants of concern raising questions about the practice of spreading them on roads,
Here we present the results of two studies on the use of OGPW on dirt and gravel roads in Pennsylvania. First we explore the efficacy of OGPW from Pennsylvania wells to suppress dust, including the major controls on efficacy the total dissolved solids content and the sodium adsorption ratio. Second we measure water quality parameters in raingfall runoff experiments on a simulated dirt and gravel road that was treated with various dust suppressants, including OGPW. Parameters measured include total dissolved solids, total suspendedsolids, major and trace metals, as well as radium activity.
About our Presenter: Nathaniel Warner is an Assistant Professor at The Pennsylvania State University in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. His research focuses on using isotope geochemistry to better understand the processes controlling sources of salts in produced waters, shallow groundwater, and surface water. His work has recently examined the accumulation of metals associated with oil and gas development in sediment, dust and Civil and Environmental Engineering. He received his BA in Geoscience from Hamilton College in NY, MS from Miami University in OH, and PhD from Duke University in NC.