Fracking
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Fracking

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Description

Fracking has the potential to extract hydrocarbons from previously inaccessible sources of gas and oil, but is regularly in the news because of environmental concerns surrounding the process. First used commercially in the mid-20th Century, only recently has fracking been deployed on a large scale, revolutionising the energy industry in the USA. As more nations seek to adopt or ban fracking, do the economic benefits outweigh the environmental costs? Presenting both sides of the debate, this latest volume of Issues in Environmental Science and Technology draws on a wealth of international expertise, ranging from the oil and gas industry to Friends of the Earth. The technology of fracking is examined in detail, as well as the associated economic, societal and global climate change considerations. Anyone wishing to gain a balanced view of hydraulic fracturing will benefit from reading this book, which is aimed at researchers in academia and industry, policy makers, environmental science students and the interested layman.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 246 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 21.59mm | 571.53g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • No
  • 184973920X
  • 9781849739207

Back cover copy

Fracking has the potential to extract hydrocarbons from previously inaccessible sources of gas and oil, but is regularly in the news because of environmental concerns surrounding the process. First used commercially in the mid-20th Century, only recently has fracking been deployed on a large scale, revolutionising the energy industry in the USA. As more nations seek to adopt or ban fracking, do the economic benefits outweigh the environmental costs?



Presenting both sides of the debate, this latest volume of Issues in Environmental Science and Technology draws on a wealth of international expertise, ranging from the oil and gas industry to Friends of the Earth. The technology of fracking is examined in detail, as well as the associated economic, societal and global climate change considerations. Individual chapters focus on exploration for unconventional hydrocarbons, the hydrogeological aspects and risks of water contamination, coal seam gas extraction in Australia and current developments in China.



Anyone wishing to gain a balanced view of hydraulic fracturing will benefit from reading this book, which is aimed at researchers in academia and industry, policy makers, environmental science students and the interested layman.
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Table of contents

Introduction and Overview: the Role of Shale Gas in Securing Our Energy Future; Shale Gas Boom, Trade, and Environmental Policies: Global Economic and Environmental Analyses in a Multidisciplinary Modeling Framework; Exploration for Unconventional Hydrocarbons: Shale Gas and Shale Oil; Climate Change Impacts of Shale Gas Production; The Hydrogeological Aspects of Shale Gas Extraction in the UK; Coal Seam Gas Recovery in Australia: Economic, Environmental and Policy Issues; Prospects for Shale Gas Development in China; Unconventional, Unburnable and Unwanted: why going all out for shale gas is the wrong direction for the UK's energy policy.
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Review quote

"This book gives a far more comprehensive coverage of the subject than others on the topic recently published


"The first chapter gives a superb overview of all aspects of the subject covering both principles and practice in detail." "This is a book that everyone concerned about climate change, especially politicians, should read before deciding on future energy policies." -- Edward Adlard * Chromatographia * This book gives a far more comprehensive coverage of the subject than others on the topic recently published and includes information about the situation in the UK, Australia and China as well as in the USA. The only omission in this respect is anything about Poland, a country which could possibly generate large quantities of gas from fracking.The first chapter gives a superb overview of all aspects of the subject covering both principles and practice in detail. In subsequent chapters economic factors figure largely - the second chapter is about computer programs to predict economic impacts of energy policies and a chapter on coal seam gas in Australia has a lot about economic effects. This may come as a surprise to some potential readers but energy supplies are governed as much by economics as by other considerations. Another topic covered extensively is the geology of gas-bearing strata. One of these chapters deals with what might be described as "micro-geology" - the porosity of the various kinds of gas-bearing rock and whether the gas is biogenic or thermogenic; the gas is the same but the fracking methods employed may differ in detail. Several chapters deal with the climatic effects of exploiting shale gas; in China and the USA which are still major coal consumers, the use of shale gas is beneficial. In the UK the reduction of CO2 emissions would be marginal and the main advantage would be security of supply. Various environmental impacts of fracking are described in most chapters. For example fracking may give rise to drinking water pollution; I thought this unlikely in the UK since most large cities are supplied from distantly located reservoirs but 30% of the UK drinking water comes from surface/groundwater sources. The south east of England has a semi-arid climate and the use of large volumes of water for fracking would be untenable. The book ends with a chapter by an author from Friends of the Earth that is entirely negative. Climate change is the major problem that the whole world should be giving priority to combating but more and more wind turbines is not the answer. No alternative energy source is entirely carbon free - a wind turbine uses cement, steel and copper in its construction all of which require the expenditure of large amounts of energy and all the green sources of energy produce electricity. So far no one has come up with a method of storing large amounts of electricity but it could be used to generate hydrogen. Major consumers of energy are transport and agriculture and until the world switches to hydrogen-powered vehicles, which are technically feasible, CO2 levels will go on rising. However, switching to hydrogen is going to involve major costs initially, which comes back to economics.Before I read this volume I was in favour of fracking but this book has changed my opinion and I now belong to the doubtful camp. A final negative for me was the information in another book recently reviewed in Chromatographia (Small-Scale Gas to Liquid Fuel Synthesis, published by CRC Press) that so called "stranded gas", gas produced in locations where it is currently not cost-effective to recover it and is flared off, would be sufficient to generate around 250 billion barrels of synthetic oil, a quantity equal to one third of the Middle East proven oil reserves. This is a book that everyone concerned about climate change, especially politicians, should read before deciding on future energy policies. -- Edward Adlard * Chromatographia *
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About Ron E. Hester

The series has been edited by Professors Hester and Harrison since it began in 1994.


Professor Roy Harrison OBE is listed by ISI Thomson Scientific (on ISI Web of Knowledge) as a Highly Cited Researcher in the Environmental Science/Ecology category. He has an h-index of 54 (i.e. 54 of his papers have received 54 or more citations in the literature). In 2004 he was appointed OBE for services to environmental science in the New Year Honours List. He was profiled by the Journal of Environmental Monitoring (Vol 5, pp 39N-41N, 2003). Professor Harrison's research interests lie in the field of environment and human health. His main specialism is in air pollution, from emissions through atmospheric chemical and physical transformations to exposure and effects on human health. Much of this work is designed to inform the development of policy.


Now an emeritus professor, Professor Ron Hester's current activities in chemistry are mainly as an editor and as an external examiner and assessor. He also retains appointments as external examiner and assessor/adviser on courses, individual promotions, and departmental / subject area evaluations both in the UK and abroad.
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