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Public Lab Research note

Any Help ! Fracking Project

by RachelFinan23 | October 22, 2013 10:52 22 Oct 10:52 | #9520 | #9520

Hey, I am new to this site and I have been given a interesting thesis project at college. My supervisor has asked me to test the accuracy and precision of the public lab spectrometer against a bench on we have in the laboratory here at the college. He has asked me to try and see if it is possible to identify possible fracking contamination using the spectrophotometer. Now i have spent a few weeks trying to research this, and so far I have come up with nothing!! I have looked at the possible components that are used in the fracking process (mainly the fluid used) that couse cause water contamination, Methane dissolved in water being the obvious one, but that is analysed through gas chromatography. I have access to a gas chromatograph so if anyone out there knows of a way i could analysis dissolved methane in water with the spectrophotometer, i could compare the two methods. But at the minute im very lost and losing hope :(

All suggestions are welcome


Just a suggestion, but research is all about discovery -- I highly recommend that process. A 30-sec Google search found this(below) but in 10 minutes you should be able to find much more. http://www.welldog.com/images/uploads/TechBrief_Raman_ALL_Pages1.pdf As for the PL device, it's limited to probably 1000nm so IR detection is limited. Good luck with your research. -Dave

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If you’re set on using the PL spectrometer I’m not sure. However if your goal is to use a cheap open source instrument I know Dr. Jack Summers (http://www.wcu.edu/academics/departments-schools-colleges/cas/casdepts/chemphys/faculty-and-staff/jack-s.-summers.asp) has/is developing a potentiostat (http://publiclab.org/wiki/potentiostat) that is capable of several electrochemistry techniques. I would think you could use a method similar to these guys (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00032710903492508) who seem to have a good results in detection methane in aqueous solutions.

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accoring to this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uti2niW2BRA not sure possible to determine the composition of "fluid used"

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I'm in Texas and am faced with an impending big fracking operation near my place. The TX Railroad commission, who manages the frackers, does post some chemical disclosures on their site. See 2 examples here on my fracktracking site: http://clafayette.com/fracktracking/ (at the end of the slideshow).

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