Author: things on shelves.
The alternatives to hydrofracking are very limited because of the specific task it performs to help extract the necessary energy that is constantly being demanded by the American consumer. The one alternative that has less of an environmental impact while still performing the same function is called propane fracking.
Propane fracking uses a liquid propane gel along with other items such as frac sand that are pumped into the shale oil rock wells under extreme pressure. This pressure is used to break up the shale rock layer and allow the trapped oil and gas to be released in a recoverable way.
The major advantage of using this new fracking method over the hydrofracking method, there is no water used. Because of this, there is no waste water stream being produced by the process. With no waste water stream, the cleanup after the fracking process is easier to complete.
Another reason for using the propane fracking process over hydrofracking is the speed in which the well can be brought back into production. In most cases after the hydrofracking procedure is completed, the water is channeled out of the well for up to a week. This water is then collected and placed in a pond on the premises of the well for treatment and or disposal at a later date.
The propane fracking process has to recover the liquefied gel propane, but the time and waste products are very different. The propane is placed in the well as a gel, but after the pressure is exerted on the gel, it changes state to a gas. This gas is then allowed to escape leaving behind the frac sand to keep the newly formed fissures open.
As this frac gas escapes from the bore head of the well, it is trapped just like the natural gas is collected. This is then kept and recycled at a later date. This process only takes up to 48 hours before the well can be back in production of recovering the energy reserve that had been previously trapped below ground.
With the present state of technology and the increasing demand for energy from the American public and the world, there is no other practical alternative to hydrofracking.
For those opponents to the fracking process, the alternatives are very simple. Either stop using energy, allow fracking to continue or rely even more on foreign energy imports to help sustain the economy. This is due to the fact that the only other alternatives to hydrofracking would involve strip mining to recover the energy reserve. That would do even more environmental damage that what is suspected of hydrofracking.