Water Spouts will speak volubly and endlessly about all the issues concerning water. The ongoing degradation, and growing scarcity, of the water supply here in the US, and the rest of the world. The continued absence of potable water in so many parts of the world. The work being done by NGOs, and charities, in the third world, to help alleviate the situation. The emphasis on WASH ( Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene ) so health and healthy water are maintained. "Water Spouts" will spout it all out.
Fracking Could be Combined with Carbon Capture Plans
Talk about a win-win situation. Compressed carbon dioxide may be more suitable than water for fracturing methane-rich rock – a finding that could help the growing hydraulic fracturing industry extract more natural gas from spent fields. And because the carbon dioxide is then trapped below ground, the discovery could also spur the development of large-scale carbon sequestration.
Natural gas production has soared worldwide in recent years as a result ofhydraulic fracturing, or fracking – a process of injecting pressurised water into shale formations to fracture the rock and release massive amounts of natural gas trapped inside.
The more extensive the network of fractures created in the shale, the more pathways are available for the gas inside it to escape. Tsuyoshi Ishida at Kyoto University, Japan, and his colleagues have now found a way to greatly extend that network of fractures by replacing pressurised water with liquid or supercritical CO2.
On a broad scale, the pattern of fractures created in rock by conventional hydraulic fracturing is two-dimensional – the fractures tend to occur along a plane. Ishida's team found, through experiments involving cubes of granite, that compressed CO2 yielded a fracture pattern that was three-dimensional. Ishida expects the compressed CO2 would produce a similar 3D pattern of fracturing in shale too.
It's unclear exactly why pressurised CO2 yields a different fracture pattern from water, but Ishida's team suggest it might be connected to the fact that compressed CO2 is around 10 times less viscous than water.
Viability of CO2
Shahab Mohaghegh, a petroleum and natural gas engineer at West Virginia University in Morgantown, says the study may hasten the development of large-scale carbon sequestration. Mohaghegh is studying the technical and economic viability of using CO2 to remove methane from shale, but from a different perspective.
He says that shale has a greater affinity for CO2 than methane. When CO2 is injected into a depleted shale formation – even one that has previously been fracked – the rock will release more methane because pockets of the gas chemically trapped within the shale will be released in favour of the more chemically attractive CO2.
"Shale is an incredible storage source and carbon sequestration can help us release more methane," he says. "If you can also use carbon dioxide to fracture the rock, that would add a third dimension that could be more significant than sequestration or enhanced recovery."