Electrochemical Technologies for Environmental Applications

The search for alternatives to better our environment is imperative. The contributions to environmental degradation have grown to the point that the health of many people and of ecosystems is seriously threatened. the number and quality of the substances involved in the pollution arena allows one to note that most of them can normally be subject to either an oxidation or a reduction.

In addition, electrochemistry offers a series of advantages that in many cases can be used to make “green” processes. Some include the minimization of waste emissions by improved process design involving the minimization of by-product formation, raw material usage, and energy consumption. 

Environmental applications of advanced electrochemical treatment processes: the case of hydraulic fracturing wastewater

Konstantinos V. Plakas*

Chemical Process and Energy Resources Institute (CPERI), Centre for Research and Technology – Hellas (CERTH), Greece

* Presenting author email: kplakas@cperi.certh.gr

Scientific topic:Bio/Electrochemistry & Environmental applications, Electrochemistry & new materials

Click here to download: Environmental applications of advanced


Water is an essential component in shale oil and gas production, and effectively managing its use from source to disposal can be critical not only in terms of controlling costs but also for addressing other operational issues and considerations.While progress has been made on the water quantity and quality impacts of shale oil and gas development, challenges remain, including the potential cumulative long-term water impacts of the industry. Additional water research and environmental policy changes will be necessary in order to fully realize the economic opportunity of the world’s oil and natural gas wealth while safeguarding the environment. In this context, significant research efforts have been concentrated on the development of novel technologies that can treat and reuse themassive volumes of wastewater produced during the shale oil and gas extraction processes (hydrulic fracturing) in an efficient, cost effective and environmental friendly manner.Electro-based treatment, which uses electrons to treat wastewater, without the need for chemicals or biomass, has been recently considered in literature as a highly efficient ‘clean technology’ for this scope [1]. This paper reviews the development, design and applications of electro-assisted treatment technologies in hydraulic fracturing wastewater treatment along with their perspectives in the oil and gas industry market. These processes can be divided into three categories: a) advanced electro-driven separation processes (e.g. electrocoagulation, electrodialysis reversal, capacitive deionization), b) electrochemical advanced oxidation processes (e.g. electro-Fenton), and c) hybrid electro-driven technologies (e.g. microbial capacitive deionization, electro-oxidation coupled with precipitation). Each category serves a different treatment scope (desalination, softening, mineralization, etc.) and can be implemented at shale oil and/or gas well sites or centralized treatment facilities to enable reuse of hydraulic fracturing wastewater for different purposes. The pros and cons of the electro-assisted technologies reviewed are discussed and the priorities of R&D on technical issues are identified.

Keywords:hydraulic fracturing, wastewater, management, reuse, electro-driven technologies


  • Jiménez, M.M.Micó, M. Arnaldos, F. Medina, S. Contreras, S. Chemosphere 2018, 192, 186-208.

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