Low-energy hydraulic fracturing wastewater treatment via AC powered electrocoagulation with biochar

Fernanda Leite Lobo, Heming Wang, Tyler Huggins, James Rosenblum, Karl G. Linden, Zhiyong Jason Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Produced and flowback waters are the largest byproducts associated with unconventional oil and gas exploration and production. Sustainable and low cost technologies are needed to treat and reuse this wastewater to avoid the environmental problems associated with current management practices (i.e., deep well injection). This study presents a new process to integrate AC-powered electrocoagulation (EC) with granular biochar to dramatically reduce energy use and electrode passivation while achieving high treatment efficiency. Results show achieving a 99% turbidity and TSS removal for the AC-EC-biochar system only used 0.079 kWh/m3 or 0.15 kWh/kg TSS, which is 70% lower than traditional DC-EC systems and orders of magnitude lower than previous studies. The amount of biochar added positively correlates with energy saving, and further studies are needed to improve organic carbon and salt removal through system integration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-184
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
StatePublished - May 15 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


  • Biochar
  • Electrocoagulation
  • Hydraulic fracturing
  • Low energy wastewater treatment
  • Produced water


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