Characterization of soil, sediment, and wastewater samples from hydraulic fracturing processes using the comparative NAA method
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Regulatory monitoring of oil and gas development requires the accurate multi-elemental analysis of wellbore samples on a regular basis. In this study, an unconventional method, comparative neutron activation analysis (comparative NAA), was applied for the multi-elemental characterization of solid and liquid hydraulic fracturing samples at the ppm level. The obtained values from three wastewater samples were compared with the most probable values determined via an inter-laboratory study, which involved 15 different laboratories from the United States, Canada, and Germany. The comparison showed that 15 out of 19 comparative NAA trace element concentration values were considered acceptable, providing a new technique to determine elemental concentrations in high salinity hydraulic fracturing samples.
KeywordsNeutron activation analysis (NAA) Hydraulic fracturing Gamma ray spectroscopy
The hydraulic fracturing wastewater and solid samples were provided by Dr. Nathaniel R. Warner of the Pennsylvania State University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The project was supported by the Pennsylvania State University Radiation Science and Engineering Center.
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