It turns out that there may far more contamination from fracking than once thought. Scientists have found that the oil and gas extraction method known and hydraulic fracturing may contribute more pollutants to groundwater than previous research has suggested.
Hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking, involves inject large volumes of fluids underground at high pressures. These fluids are combined with chemicals that help release gas and oil trapped in cracks in hard rock. The gas and oil is then extracted and the wastewater, in theory, is disposed of properly.
That said, there's been a lot of controversy surrounding the practice of fracking. One problem involves flowback, which refers to the fluids that surge back out of the fracked wells during the process. This flowback contains water, lubricants, solvents and other chemicals. Spills have occurred before, and research has linked fracking to groundwater contamination that could have serious health effects.
Although past research has looked at fracking, it hasn't addressed one factor that could play a large role in groundwater contamination: colloids. These are tiny pieces of mineral, clay and other particles that can attract heavy metals and other environmental toxins.
Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc, Ángel G. de Ágreda