Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 322, Issue 3, pp 1563–1570 | Cite as

Characterization of soil, sediment, and wastewater samples from hydraulic fracturing processes using the comparative NAA method

  • Maksat Kuatbek
  • Amanda M. JohnsenEmail author
  • Kenan Ünlü


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.


Neutron 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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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nuclear EngineeringThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Radiation Science and Engineering CenterThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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