Analyzing the Flowback Liquids from Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking)

Oil removal is typically performed first in all types of treatment of flowback and generated water from a hydraulic fracturing site, whether it is cleaning of flowback liquids for the next fracture, evaporation ponds, off-site treatment facility, or thermal or membrane desalination for surface discharge or agricultural purposes. Validating the efficiency of the oil removal system is essential if the risk is polluting a membrane or leading to a regulatory fine.

InfraCal Analyzers

Oil in water analysis can be efficiently performed at the well site within 15 minutes using the InfraCal Analyzers, which have the rugged durability needed for drill site testing. The sampling involves a few simple steps that are performable even by non-technical personnel.

After adding the water to be analyzed to an extraction solvent, the resulting mixture is stirred and fed into the InfraCal Analyzer for subsequent analysis. It is possible to use the same InfraCal Analyzer for TPH in soil to determine the area contaminated by a spill or pond leak (Figure 1).

InfraCal TOG/TPH Analyzer

Figure 1. InfraCal TOG/TPH Analyzer

With improved sensitivity and features like a touch screen display for more user options, the new InfraCal 2 Analyzer can perform sub-ppm measurements, and can be used in cases requiring password protected calibrations, multiple calibrations, and data storage (Figure 2).

InfraCal 2 Analyzer

Figure 2. InfraCal 2 Analyzer

Advantages of the InfraCal Analyzers

The InfraCal Analyzers are advantageous in many ways:

  • High sensitivity with detection limit down to 0.1ppm
  • Engineered for use at drilling sites
  • Provide results within 15 minutes
  • Corroborate whether oil levels are compatible for disposal or reuse
  • User-friendly even for non-technical personnel

The following table summarizes different InfraCal Analyzer models, their detection limit and calibration options, and solvents used.

Part Number Analyzer Model Minimum Detection Calibration Options Solvent
405-1009 InfraCal TOG/TPH Analyzer, Model HATR-T2 8 mg/L Uncalibrated Hexane, Vertrel MCA, Pentane, Cyclohexane
405-1009-44 InfraCal TOG/TPH Analyzer, Model HATR-T2 8 mg/L Factory Cal-Hexane/TPH 6 point set, 10, 25, 50, 100, 150, and 200 mg/L Hexane, Vertrel MCA, Pentane, Cyclohexane
405-0003-12 InfraCal TOG/TPH Analyzer, Model CVH 2 mg/L Uncalibrated Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene), S-316, Freon
405-0003-12-78 InfraCal TOG/TPH Analyzer, Model CVH 2 mg/L Factory Cal-Perc/TPH 6 point set, 10, 25, 50, 100, 150, and 200 mg/L Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene)
405-0003-12-41 InfraCal TOG/TPH Analyzer, Model CVH 2 mg/L Factory Cal-S-316/TPH 6 point set, 10, 25, 50, 100, 150, and 200 mg/L S-316
405-2034 InfraCal 2 ATR-SP 0.3 mg/L UnCalibrated Hexane, Vertrel MCA, Pentane, Cyclohexane
405-2034-44 InfraCal 2 ATR-SP 0.3 mg/L Factory Cal-Hexane/TPH 6 point set, 10, 25, 50, 100, 150, and 200 mg/L* Hexane, Vertrel MCA, Pentane, cyclohexane
405-2035 InfraCal 2 TRANS-SP 0.1 mg/L Uncalibrated Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene), S-316, Freon
405-2035-78 InfraCal 2 TRANS-SP 0.1 mg/L Factory Cal-Perc/TPH 6 point set, 10, 25, 50, 100, 150, and 200 mg/L* Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene)
405-2035-41 InfraCal 2 TRANS-SP 0.1 mg/L 25, 50, 100, 150, and 200 mg/L* S-316

*Note: Lower range calibrations available for oil in water

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by AMETEK Spectro Scientific.

For more information on this source, please visit AMETEK Spectro Scientific.

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