Penn State University researchers say they have discovered how to use industrial waste products to make the controversial practice of fracking more sustainable.
In fracking, millions of gallons of water are pumped underground, causing immense fractures and releasing natural gas from the underlying shale deposits. Mixed into the water are chemicals of variable toxicity.
The water also typically contains sand to keep the fractures open, allowing the natural gas to continue flowing.
The researchers have substituted mixed glass and other heavy industry materials for the sand. The materials once bound for a landfill also produce more gas than when sand is used.
By Alison Dirr
Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
Perry Schmitt describes himself as pro-mining but blames the frac sand mine across the highway from his home for driving down the asking price by more than $25,000, to $189,000. His neighbors made out better. Kari Curran and her husband sold 130 acres for $1.5 million to a company affiliated with Unimin Mining Corp., operator of the mine.
A fungus that has already killed more than 10 million bats nationwide has been found for the first time in Michigan. White-nose syndrome was confirmed April 10 in little brown bats in Alpena, Dickinson and Mackinac counties. It is expected to spread quickly through the state, said Bill Scullon, wildlife biologist and statewide bat coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources.