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Recycling Produced Water


Hydraulic fracturing is water intensive, and operators look to reduce the use of fresh water by recycling the maximum amount of produced water possible. Working closely with a service company and operator, Nalco Champion developed a salt-tolerant, water-based friction reducer that does just that, offering environmental, economic, and operational advantages over previous technology.

Recycling produced water depends on the ability of chemical additives in the fracturing fluid to tolerate high levels of total dissolved solids (TDS)—a quality not found in the industry-standard inverse-emulsion friction reducers. In the Marcellus Shale, operators often added an external surfactant to the friction reducer, aiding in hydration but increasing operating costs and decreasing their ability to recycle produced water.

Our innovative friction reducer decreased fresh water consumption.

$2.5 million Saved in one month

Nalco Champion’s dispersion polymer friction reducer allows well operators to reuse high TDS produced waters encountered in the Marcellus Shale. Across the operation, the chemistry increased efficiency, helped conserve fresh water and led to a safer frac site.

  • Improved performance, including optimal friction reduction even in full-strength produced water and the achievement of high pumping rates with a single chemical
  • Significant reduction in water disposal charges: $2,500,000 in one month alone
  • Operational benefits: reduced chemical transportation and storage for freight and logistics savings
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