Relationship between total dissolved solids and electrical conductivity in Marcellus hydraulic fracturing fluids

Malcolm Taylor, Herschel A. Elliott, Laura O. Navitsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The production of hydraulic fracturing fluids (HFF) in natural gas extraction and their subsequent management leads to waste streams highly variable in total dissolved solids (TDS). TDS is often estimated from electrical conductivity (EC) assuming dissolved solids are predominantly ionic species of low enough concentration to yield a linear TDS-EC relationship. The composition and TDS-EC relationship of several fluids from Marcellus gas wells in Pennsylvania were assessed as part of investigating vegetation, soil, and groundwater impacts from accidental releases of HFF. Below EC of 75,000 ?S/cm, TDS (mg/L) can be estimated with little error assuming a 0.7 constant of proportionality. For more concentrated HFF, a curvilinear relationship is needed, while for hypersaline HFF, the use of an EC/TDS meter underestimated TDS by as much as 50%. A single linear relationship is unreliable as a predictor of brine strength and, in turn, potential water quality and soil impacts from accidental releases or the suitability of HFF for industrial wastewater treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1998-2004
Number of pages7
JournalWater Science and Technology
Volume77
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology

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