Hospital Disinfectant Gaining Ground as Oil, Gas Water Treatment Solution

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A chemical product designed to kill bacteria in hospitals is gaining traction in the oil and gas industry as a solution for treating hydraulic fracturing water.

A chemical product designed to kill bacteria in hospitals is gaining traction in the oil and gas industry as a solution for treating hydraulic fracturing water.

Excelyte, which has been successfully tested on flowback water from the Piceance and Marcellus shale basins, is being tested in eastern Utah’s Uintah Basin for use in hydraulic fracturing, well maintenance and treatment of flowback water, said Integrated Environmental Technologies (IET) CEO David LaVance in an interview with Rigzone.

The water treatment solution is similar to bleach in the sense that chlorine is the active ingredient, but unlike bleach, which is caustic with a high alkaline content, Excelyte is Ph-neutral and benign to humans. However, the product is deadly to aerobic and anaerobic bacteria in water used in hydraulic fracturing. Excelyte is also effective in killing viruses, and the product has yet been tested on a bacteria it couldn’t kill, including anthrax, said LaVance. Excelyte also is non-toxic and undetectable 90 days after use.

Hypochlorous acid, the main active ingredient in Excelyte, has been known for decades as an effective biocide, first being identified as one of the agents used in the body to kill pathogens such as bacteria and viruses in the body. The chlorine part of the molecule is primarily responsible for the biocidal action, with the remainder of the molecule acting as an oxidizing agent, which has a high affinity for the sulfur in hydrogen sulfide. The sulfur precipitates out of the solution as it oxidizes.

IET has devised a method to manufacture the product efficiently and reliably, so it can be used in many applications, ranging from hospital disinfection and food processing to use in oil and gas.

“We did not have the useful product until we determined how to make the product in a Ph-neutral way,” said LaVance.

Excelyte is ideal in that it will not impact the effectiveness of hydraulic fracturing fluid or proppants, said LaVance. It also is not corrosive to machinery, and is effective in removing deadly hydrogen sulfide.


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Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at


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