We continue to monitor patent literature for water and liquid treatment technologies related to hydraulic fracturing (see our October 7, 2012 blog entry, for example). We did not see as many granted patents in 2010 and 2011 compared to 2012 (likely a trend reflecting the increased importance of hydraulic fracturing in recent years). One exception was US Patent No. 7,722,770 granted May 25, 2010 (the listed assignee is Anticline Disposal, LLC). Anticline now has five granted patents, best we can tell (8,105,488; 7,722,770; 7,628,919; 7,527,736; and 7,510,656). The processes appear to link to nanotechnology via nanofiltration and reverse osmosis. See also this link. Nanotechnology continues to be a prominent theme in new hydraulic fracturing technologies although many of these nano-HF patent filings are not included in the 977 nanotechnology patent class.
For the Anticline ’770 patent, the abstract indicates:
ABSTRACT: Systems and methods have been developed for treating the waste water contaminated with methanol and boron in addition to other contaminants. The systems and methods allow specifically for the removal of the methanol and boron without the addition of significant chemicals to raise the pH. The water is treated by removing the methanol via biological digestion in a bioreactor, separating a majority of the contaminants from the water by reverse osmosis and removing the boron that passes through the reverse osmosis system with a boron-removing ion exchange resin.