New studies show biocides and other organic chemicals are among the poorly understood constituents of fracking fluid, according to a press release from Elsevier, publisher of the journals the studies appear in.
The studies’ revelation that there are potentially hazardous organic chemicals in fracking fluid may ultimately lead to better regulation.
Fracking fluid has been analyzed in the past for inorganic substances such as salt and potentially radioactive materials. The recent research tackled organic constituents that fracking fluid could contain, including biocides and surfactants commonly used in detergents. The organic constituents are of special interest because they can contaminate surface water and eventually groundwater.
The researchers used liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to separate and identify the organic components of fracking fluid.
The recent studies identify specific organic compounds present in fracking fluid which could act as indicators of surface or groundwater contamination. It is difficult to look for possible contamination in surface or groundwater unless specific indicating chemical compounds have already been identified.