Environmentally Friendlier Fracking with CO2

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If fracking can’t be stopped, shouldn’t we strive to at least make it greener? Fracking is an underground catastrophe, involving the pressurized injection of water and toxic chemicals in the ground, creating fissures and allowing the natural gas to flow upwards for collection. It is used by the oil industry to extract resources from locations that are hard to reach via conventional methods. The problem with hydraulic fracking it is that it creates underground pollution especially on the penetrated waterbed, can potentially cause small-scale earthquakes, can cause noise pollution over a large area, spread toxic chemicals (of types that the industry won’t even disclose) everywhere, and potentially cause droughts in the area due to the enormous need for water.

That said, the news of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the China University of Petroleum developing a new fracking method based on the use of CO2 are more than welcomed by everyone. As proven through experiments that used CO2 instead of water, the fracturing became more effective, increasing the production by 400% to 2000%. Using pressurized CO2 that escapes the underground when the process is concluded is much more preferable to leaving tons of gallons of water and chemicals down there. Since it works better as well by creating large and complex fissures, then why not adopt this method widely right away? Unfortunately, the cost of capturing and transporting all of the required CO2 onto the fracking location makes it hard for the gas industry to consider as a serious alternative right now. That said, all that what we need now is a cheap and effective method to collect large amounts of CO2

Image by jwigley from Pixabay

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