The hydraulic fracturing jobs performed on shale rocks are connected with atmospheric emissions of dusts and exhaust gases from high-power motors supplying pump aggregates used for fracturing operations and from other technological devices. The total power of motors driving technological systems depends on the specific character of deposit and well and may range between a dozen to tens of thousands kW. An exemplary set of technological systems used for frac jobs is presented in figure 1. The following substances are emitted to the atmosphere during engine operation, e.g. nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon oxide (CO), dust PM10, ammonia, benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P), benzene, toluene, xylene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein. As a consequence admissible concentrations of these substances in air can be exceeded.
The influence of dust and gaseous emissions accompanying shale rock fracturing jobs is addressed in this paper. Model analyses were performed. An exemplary model of a process used for simulating propagation of atmospheric emissions in a specified calculation area (1,150 m × 1,150 m) were based on the analysis of hydraulic fracturing jobs performed in wells in Poland and abroad. For making calculations more actual, the model was located in the Gdańsk area and was ascribed its typical meteorological and orographic parameters. In the center of this area a rig site 150 m x 150 m was distinguished. The emission field was generated by 12 high-power engines supplying pump aggregates, 1680 kW each. The time of work of particular engines was established for 52 hrs (13 frac jobs, each lasting 4 hrs). It was assumed that all engines will operate simultaneously and using 100% of their power.
Attention was paid to the correct modelling of the real emission field. Technical parameters of motors and the applied fuels were characterized. Emission indices were worked out by, e.g. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or European Environment Agency.
The calculations of air pollutions from analyzed motors were performed with a mathematical modelling method using Gaussian plum.
The results of calculations could be used for evaluating spatial distribution of maximum 1 hour concentrations (S1), incidence of exceeding admissible 1 hour concentration values (P(D1)), percentile 99.8 or 99.726 from 1 hour concentrations and average concentrations (Sa) for selected most important for the air quality contaminants, i.e. NOx (as NO2), SO2, CO, PM10, benzo(a)pyrene, benzene, toluene, xylene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein. The results of calculated air concentrations of selected substances on the rig border are listed in table 9, whereas spatial distributions of NOx and PM10 concentrations in figures 3 to 8. The analysis of the obtained results did not reveal cases of exceeding Polish emission standards. However, nitrogen oxide (NOx) or dust PM10 can be expected to exceed these values, e.g. in a situation when the total power installed in motors driving technological systems in the course of hydraulic fracking will be higher than assumed in the analyses.
The results of calculations show to a significant impact of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and dust PM10 emissions on air quality. The risk that emission standards are exceeded beyond the rig area is conditioned both by technological factors (total power of operating motors, parameters of combusted fuel, reduced emission technologies applied to engines, duration of frac jobs, etc.) and a number of external factors, e.g. meteorological and orographic factors or high level of emitted substances in air within the rig area.