The folks at OriginOil say they have the solution for the problem of what to do with all of the wastewater leftover from hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking,” the process used to free petroleum and other non-renewable fuels from the ground.
Riggs Eckelberry is the CEO of OriginOil, a company dedicated to extracting oil from algae for a variety of uses, including making that oil into renewable fuel. In an interview with Joanna, he said they’ve developed a chemical-free, low-energy process that uses electronic pulses to separate the algae from the water, and that same technique works well getting petroleum out of the fracking water.
“That water when you are fracking an oil well is full of petroleum,” he explained. “We found our process, independent of algae, does a great job of removing up to 98 percent of those particulates … easy to purify to drinking water or groundwater standards.” He added the fracking industry needs to start treating its water or become impaired, calling it of national strategic importance.
Riggs went on to say that this process gives the oil industry a chance to be on a more environmentally friendly path, preserving that income flow for them and saving them money. It costs 21-26 cents per gallon to treat the dirty water. His company’s process could get that down to 7-8 cents per gallon, even below the 11-cents-per-gallon rate just to haul the untreated water away. “At that point, why would you do anything else?”
He said the application could work in other contaminated water situations, such as mining tailings and wastewater.
Listen to Joanna’s interview with Riggs here: Interview with Riggs Eckelberry, CEO of OriginOil