Organic substances in produced and formation water from unconventional natural gas extraction in coal and shale

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Abstract

Organic substances in produced and formation water from coalbed methane (CBM) and gas shale plays from across the USA were examined in this study. Disposal of produced waters from gas extraction in coal and shale is an important environmental issue because of the large volumes of water involved and the variable quality of this water. Organic substances in produced water may be environmentally relevant as pollutants, but have been little studied. Results from five CBM plays and two gas shale plays (including the Marcellus Shale) show a myriad of organic chemicals present in the produced and formation water. Organic compound classes present in produced and formation water in CBM plays include: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), heterocyclic compounds, alkyl phenols, aromatic amines, alkyl aromatics (alkyl benzenes, alkyl biphenyls), long-chain fatty acids, and aliphatic hydrocarbons. Concentrations of individual compounds range from

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Orem, W., Tatu, C., Varonka, M., Lerch, H., Bates, A., Engle, M., … McIntosh, J. (2014). Organic substances in produced and formation water from unconventional natural gas extraction in coal and shale. International Journal of Coal Geology, 126, 20–31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coal.2014.01.003

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