With the desire to advance green chemistry and engineering in the broader oil and gas industry, the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute (ACS GCI) Hydraulic Fracturing Roundtable is expanding its scope to other areas of oilfield chemistry. The expanded roundtable, called the ACS GCI Oilfield Chemistry Roundtable, will identify opportunities to catalyze green chemistry and engineering beyond hydraulic fracturing. Since 2014, the ACS Green Chemistry Institute and companies within the hydraulic fracturing industry have been collaborating to integrate green chemistry and engineering into their chemical supply chain. These companies include operators and companies engaged in the design, manufacture, and supply of a wide variety of chemicals to the industry, as well as those treating produced water.
The mission of the expanded roundtable is to systematically integrate green and sustainable chemistry and engineering principles and practices into the chemical supply chain for oilfield chemistry. This scientific collaboration will seek to inform decisions about those chemicals and processes commonly employed in oilfield chemistry and will work to promote the prioritized development of more sustainable chemical alternatives.
The ACS GCI is a science-based organization that convenes industrial roundtables and provides member companies the means to collaborate, prioritize research needs, and influence the research agenda to advance greener and more sustainable chemistry and engineering research.
This week the ACS GCI Oilfield Chemistry Roundtable published a paper in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels: “Grand Challenges and Opportunities for Greener Chemical Alternatives in Hydraulic Fracturing: A Perspective from the ACS Green Chemistry Institute Oilfield Chemistry Roundtable”. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.energyfuels.0c00933.
In the manuscript, roundtable members describe what the hydraulic fracturing industry considers to be the greatest challenges, what is currently being done, and potential future opportunities to provide alternative chemicals that lead to a more sustainable industry. Their desire is to adopt strategies to enable a reduction in areas such as volatile organic compound emissions; toxic, persistent, and bioaccumulative chemicals; the overall volume of all chemicals and transportation distance; and worker exposure (see figure 1). The oil and gas industry understands that innovation is essential and there is a need to find alternative chemistries that can reduce potential environmental, safety, and health (ESH) impacts. This is a call from the industry to academics, chemical manufacturers, end-users and non-industry members to work together to find creative ways to greener solutions in the hydraulic fracturing arena. These solutions could be translated to other areas in oil and gas.