CLEAR affiliates have focused primarily to date on developing and applying validated methods for testing of ground and surface waters. Air and soil sampling and analysis, as well as methods for assessment of human health concerns and conditions, are under development. Further a variety of analytical methods are being used to assess the performance of new industrial- and laboratory-scale passive and active wastewater remediation technologies.
Water samples are collected and analyzed using procedures that have been previously determined to provide reproducible and reliable results. At the well head, the well is purged and a range of basic water quality parameters (e.g., temperature, pH, total dissolved solids, amongst other) are collected. Multiple water samples are taken depending on the type of analysis to be performed - to ensure sample preservation and accuracy of results.
We have developed chemical analysis methods that are tailored to look for chemicals associated with the unconventional drilling process. Additionally, our methods are designed to look for the unexpected - since many chemical components associated with the process are proprietary to the operator at hand.
Our survey of metals, ions, and organic chemical compounds include performance parameters that are relevant to determining compounds at concentration levels below, at, and above levels of concern set by appropriate authorities. Specific technologies used include:
- Total organic carbon and total nitrogen measurements for bulk water quality assessment
- Gas chromatography – mass spectrometry for volatile and semivolatile organic compounds
- Headspace gas chromatography for quantification of volatile compounds, such as alcohols
- Inductively coupled plasma – optical emission spectroscopy and mass spectrometry for trace metal speciation and quantification.
- Ion chromatography for determination of organic and inorganic ions
Through collaborations and use of state-of-the-art facilities associated with the multi-million dollar Shimadzu Center for Advanced Analytical Chemistry, CLEAR is a leader in the development and application of analytical methods for environmental analysis and the development of remediation technologies.