New Texas desalination plant could reuse fracking water
A new desalination test facility in Loving County, Texas could be deployed in treating water used in hydraulic fracturing - tracking- for shale gas for reuse in the oil industry.The county has finished installing a US$3.5 million solar-powered, evaporative desalination unit designated for drinking water production from brackish water. The county said the technology used in the plant was "capable of treating brackish groundwater, produced water, and frack water." The DyVaR technology evaporates the brackish water in cyclone chambers where pure water is condensed from steam and the brine is concentrated for disposal as a solid.
"For produced or frack water, a process like this could produce water for reuse in the oil field," said the plant project engineer, James Busby.
The project, located in Mentone, was funded by Loving County and the federal Bureau of Reclamation by way of the WaterSMART innovative water treatment grant program.
There are no seawater desalination plants currently operating in Texas but there are 46 municipal brackish water desalination facilities operating across the state, according to recent local news report.
Another local report citing state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon described the Texas drought - currently in its fourth year - as "among the five worst in the past 500 years...If it continues to be as dry as it is has been, the drought could be the third worst."