What do you know about fracking?
Fracking. A loaded word that has come to carry many, often negative, connotations with it. Most everyone at this point in time has heard of fracking and has a rough idea of what fracking is. Fracking technically speaking is a technique that extracts things like oil and gas from underground rock formations (shale). Fracking has been a huge part of the oil and gas boom in the U.S. and is helping the country come closer to achieving energy independence.
Although there are a myriad of opinions out there about the dangers of fracking, here are four facts you may not have known about fracking:
1. Fracking employs water and sand
Fracking is often presented as being a largely chemical based process. While there are chemicals involved, it is actually almost entirely water and sand being employed. The water and sand are pumped into the ground and constitute of about 99 percent of what is being pumped into the ground.
2. Fracking is useful for more than oil and gas
Fracking can be used in more ways than one. Though oil and gas are the ones that get the most air time, fracking is also used in geothermal energy production and for stimulating the production of water wells.
3. Fracking is old technology
The patent for fracking was issued all the way back in 1949. It has simply gained in momentum in more recent years. However, there has been commercial use of fracking since the early 1950’s and since its start approximately 90 percent of U.S. wells were fracked.
4. Fracking raises the price of certain foods
Although fracking mostly employs sand and water, it also uses guar gum. Guar gum is a product used in many common foods such as baked goods, dairy products, meat condiments, canned soup, instant oatmeal, animal feed and more. With the rise in fracking, there has also been a rise in the cost of guar gum which has caused a rise in the prices of certain foods that use guar gum as an ingredient.
Although fracking will continue to be a controversial topic to be debated politically, these four fracking facts are lesser known, but interesting tidbits in the conversation of fracking.