Hydraulic fracturing is a process which involves using heavily powered diesel machinery for drilling deep into the earth’s crust. The goal is to release natural gases found within shale rock formations by injecting these rocks with water to create fissures to release the natural gas trapped within the formations. These fissures are held open by several agents including water, hydrocarbon chemicals, and silica sand. While these fissures are held open, gas is allowed to escape into the wells created by the hydraulic fracturing drill. The wells are surrounded by an additional cement casing which creates a chamber designed to house the released gases and push them up to the well surface above ground. The waste water mix containing hydrocarbons and silica sand are also expelled through these casing chambers along with the natural gas. These gases are collected in the by the wells above ground to be processed and transported to be used for practical uses such as energy or heating. The waste water is also collected and stored in storm drain reservoirs where it is later brought to sewage treatment plants for disposal.
As simple as this process may...
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...e harmful to the environment by design but there is evidence to support its dangers otherwise. Though, the new energy source cleaner burning source of power than coal or crude oil, it may pose far greater harm to the environment through production rather than actual use. The natural resources that are essential to sustaining life should not be risked.
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Daily. Web. Aug. 6, 2012.
Spellman, Frank R. Environmental Impacts of hydraulic Fracturing. Boca Raton: CRC.
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