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Nontarget profiling of organic compounds in a temporal series of hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced waters
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry. University of Alberta, Canada.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6265-4294
Number of Authors: 42019 (English)In: Environment International, ISSN 0160-4120, E-ISSN 1873-6750, Vol. 131, article id UNSP 104944Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Hydraulic fracturing (HF) flowback and produced water (FPW) can be toxic to aquatic life but its chemical content is largely unknown, variable and complex. Seven FPW samples were collected from a HF operation in the Duvernay Formation (Alberta, Canada) over 30 days of flowback and characterized by a nontarget workflow based on high performance liquid chromatography - high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS). A modified Kendrick mass defect plot and MS/MS spectral interpretation revealed seven series of homologues composed of ethylene oxide (i.e. -CH2CH2O-), among which a series of aldehydes was proposed as degradation products of polyethylene glycols, and two series of alkyl ethoxylate carboxylates could be proprietary HF additives. Many other ions were confidently assigned a formula by accurate mass measurement and were subsequently prioritized for identification by matching to records in ChemSpider and the US EPA's CompTox Chemistry Dashboard. Quaternary ammonium compounds, amine oxides, organophosphorous compounds, phthalate diesters and hydroxyquinoline were identified with high confidence by MS/MS spectra (Level 3), matching to reference spectra in MassBank (Level 2) or to authentic standards (Level 1). Temporal trends showed that most of the compounds declined in abundance over the first nine days of flowback, except for phthalate diesters and hydroxyquinoline that were still observed on Day 30 and had disappearance half-lives of 61 and 91 days, respectively. All the compounds followed first-order disappearance kinetics in flowback, except for polyoxygenated acids which followed second-order kinetics. This analysis and the workflow, based largely on public on-line databases, enabled profiling of complex organic compounds in HF-FPW, and will likely be useful for further understanding the toxicity and chemical fate of HF-FPW.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 131, article id UNSP 104944
Keywords [en]
Nontarget profiling, High resolution mass spectrometry, Hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced water, Temporal trends
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-176758DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2019.104944ISI: 000493550200013PubMedID: 31284105OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-176758DiVA, id: diva2:1377165
Available from: 2019-12-11 Created: 2019-12-11 Last updated: 2019-12-12Bibliographically approved

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