William Arendt, 2016, Civil and Environmental Engineering

During our summer internship, Jeffrey Chen and I conducted research in order to facilitate understanding of the existence of hazardous elements within fracking-produced waters. By conducting batch experiments with three different shales exposed to three different fluids, we simulated each step of the fracking process. Taking samples of each batch, we analyzed the fluid and determined in which conditions hazardous elements were most abundant. This analysis was done using ion chromatography, inductively coupled plasmamass spectroscopy, thermo gravimetric analysis, X-ray diffraction, and an environmental scanning electron microscope. In addition to performing scientific analysis, we had to present progress reports in weekly meetings and provide recommendations on other projects within the research group. Using teamwork skills and honing our presenting techniques helped us progress in our ability to communicate results in a concise and effective manner. This research experience has given me a greater look into the environmental concerns associated with fracking and will be researched further in my senior thesis.