Treating fracking water blowback water in the Marcellus shale and elsewhere is getting some press, now from Forbes with an article discussing Osorb, which DOE  tested and found

it can remove more than 99 percent of oil and grease from water, and more than 90 percent of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes—also known as BTEX—the volatile compounds that can poison drinking water.

This sounds good, sort of, but as it is more or less based upon a press release, it leaves out a lot of important detail. BTEX compounds are not the only actors here. Also, 90% removal might not be good enough for discharge to waterways or to wastewater treatment plants. Details, details.

Other questions include: what does one do with the Osorb once all this stuff is sorbed to it? It’s going to be nasty, and hazardous in and of itself. Can it be regenerated? What sorts of concentrations were used in these DOE tests? What’s the cost? What about other, conventional treatment schemes, such as activated carbon, for example, which can be regenerated?

Maybe they have something here. I’m willing to provide some due diligence review of their claims.


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