Thermally Actuated Freshwater Recovery System for Fracking Wastewater

Technology Description

This technology, a product of Oregon State University research, details a device for the efficient treatment of wastewater produced from hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Relying upon the properties of water azeotropes and humid gas thermodynamics, this system is capable of treating water with a wide range and high concentration of contaminants without excessive energy consumption or the solute buildup associated with membrane systems. Unique engineering processes surrounding airflow velocity and centrifugal forces allow for the precise control of flow parameters necessary for the separation of troublesome compounds. Additionally, this technology’s modular design creates a portable and scalable technology which can optionally function without electrical power consumption.

Features & Benefits

  • Modular and portable
  • Treats high concentrations and variety of contaminants
  • Optionally electrically powered
  • Energy efficient


  • Remote or periodical fracking wastewater treatment
  • General wastewater treatment

Background of Invention

A major side effect of increasing fracking utilization in the United States has been the production of vast quantities of highly toxic water raising major environmental and health related concerns. Current water treatment methods fail to handle water with either a wide range or high concentration of contaminants and often are designed for massive stationary plants. It is cost-prohibitive to build a suitable treatment facility for temporary treatment. Even the most efficient of these processes use 3-5 times the minimum required energy and often utilize membranes that accumulate solute, fouling the device. While a variety of water treatment systems are commercially available, they are all generally intended for stationary plants with lower concentrations of less toxic contaminants.


Patent pending. Seeking development partners.



Schematic of a portable and modular FRESH Frac unit at a fracking site.

Patent Information:
Tech ID:
David Dickson
IP & Licensing Manager
Oregon State University
Bahman Abbasi
Hannah O'Hern
Elnaz Nikooei
Xiang Zhang
wastewater treatment
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