WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two Ohio research institutions will receive resources for projects to advance sustainable shale development practices. Ohio University in Athens and Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus will use U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) resources to address potential issues while reducing the environmental impact of shale development.
“Our state has already seen how increased development in the Marcellus and Utica shale has boosted Ohio’s steel and chemical industry, created jobs, and provided a cleaner burning fuel source,” Brown said. “But we must ensure that our air and water is protected for current and future generations. This research at Battelle and OU will advance these goals by improving safety and minimizing any negative environmental impact from shale development.”
To qualify for funding, the DOE’s Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA) requires projects to achieve one of the following ends related to shale development:
(1) Reduced risks of environmental impacts;
(2) Improved water handling and treating methods;
(3) Enhanced characterization of shales; and
(4) Improved understanding of the hydraulic fracturing process.
Ohio is one of eight states that is home to organizations receiving funding. Below are details of Ohio’s awards.
Project name: Cost-Effective Treatment of Flowback and Produced Waters via an Integrated Precipitative Supercritical (IPSC) Process.
Funding: DOE share- $1,936,630; Recipient share- $500,160;
Duration: 2 years
Description: According to DOE, OU will evaluate the performance and cost-effectiveness of the IPSC process to convert fracture flowback and produced water generated by unconventional shale gas wells into a clean water product. This technology combines ultraviolet light treatment, chemical precipitation, and an advanced supercritical reactor incorporating a hydrocarbon reforming catalyst.
Battelle Memorial Institute
Project name: Development of Subsurface Brine Disposal Framework in the Northern Appalachian Basin
Funding: DOE share- $1,569,592; Recipient share- $402,732
Duration: 2 years
Description: According to DOE, Battelle will address the need for subsurface brine disposal options in the Ohio and neighboring states by compiling geological and reservoir data, developing geocellular models from logs and seismic data, and carrying out advanced reservoir and geomechanical simulations to better understand the geologic setting, reservoir dynamics, geomechanical issues, and subsurface effects of brine disposal. This research will result in maps, geologic cross sections, an inventory of reservoir parameters, and practical guidance for injection operations.