The U.S. natural gas boom has kicked off a gold rush among clean tech firms trying to cash in on minimizing the industry’s environmental footprint.
“There’s a real feeding frenzy,” says Dallas Kachan, founder of clean tech research firm, Kachan and Co.
He says he even sees vendors of technologies that may not have targeted the energy sector “rushing to retool their products for the high visibility, high growth fracking and oil-sands markets.”
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration , natural gas is poised to become nearly 50 percent of the national fuel mix by 2030, up from 23 percent in 2009.
With that massive growth coming primarily from shale-gas deposits that require fracking, the cleanup opportunity is huge.
Boutique research firm Lux Research says it expects the market for fracking-related water treatment will grow nine?fold to $9 billion in 2020.
The main issues are quality and quantity of wastewater from fracking. There is “flowback” water that’s left over after injection for the process, and “produced” water, the kind that may be unleashed by the rock fracturing from inside the shale deposit.
Both types of water can be a “toxin?laced brine that can be more than six times as salty as the sea,” says Lux analyst Brent Giles.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page