In 2012, at least five patent applications have published related to treatment of hydraulic fracturing water including waste water. We expect this number to grow. A variety of assignees are evident. Lux Research recently published a report on the subject of water treatment. Examples of patent filings include:
General Electric’s 2012/0097614 (interesting: DOE funding is evident);
Encana Corp.’s 2012/0085236 (Calgary);
Aquionics, Inc.’s 2012/0070339 (Kentucky);
Chevron’s 2012/0024525; and
Don Nevin’s 2012/0012307.
Hydraulic fracturing-related patenting efforts continue to grow. For example, six new patent applications published this past Thursday (June 9, 2011) which refer to hydraulic fracturing (see below). Not surprisingly, many of the inventors are from Texas. Water treatment is a theme for two of the patent applications. The Obama administration continues to study hydraulic fracturing as it has become a core element in energy policy (see (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/07/science/earth/07frack.html). The administration should urgently fund innovation to supplement private sector efforts in this arena.