ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —Former U.S. Senator Pete V. Domenici announced at a news conference today that he has agreed to join IX Power Clean Water as a paid Board Member. A New Mexico and Colorado company, IX Power Clean Water has commercialized a breakthrough process for cleaning “produced water” from the oil and gas industry, mining operations, and industrial processes.
Domenici, who during his 36 years in the United States Senate appropriated funding for water purification and re-use, said that he believes that recent studies and commercial trials “validate both the process IX Power Clean Water has invented, but also its substantial advantages over present cleanup methods.
“The oil and gas industry alone spends more than $50 billion annually to have its wastewater trucked offsite and disposed of, either in reinjection wells or evaporation ponds. In this era of water scarcity, the approach by IX Power Clean Water holds great promise for water reuse for agriculture and industrial uses at dramatic cost savings.”
Domenici presently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., where he co-chairs its Debt Reduction Task Force, Health Care Cost Containment Initiative, and the Task Force on Defense Budget and Strategy.
Domenici is joining IX Power Clean Water because of his concern for New Mexico’s ongoing water issues. “There is an opportunity here,” said Domenici, “to provide not just New Mexico, but all of the American West, and countries with water shortages, with additional water. The oil & gas industry in particular, plus mining and manufacturing processes, create an incredible amount of wastewater that is too contaminated to use without treatment. In this era of expanding water shortages, instead of injecting this water into the ground or letting it sit in evaporation ponds, we should be cleaning it for reuse. IX Power Clean Water, with its unique patented process created here in New Mexico, allows us to do that and put that valuable water to work.”
IX Power’s OrganiClear™ water treatment technology originated from a Department of Energy (DOE) project started 10 years ago. The project was led by Dr. Jeri Sullivan-Graham at Los Alamos National Laboratory in collaboration with New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and the University of Texas at Austin. The directive from the DOE was to create an effective method for removing contaminants including BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes) from produced water generated by the oil & gas industry.
The project was a success and the patent transferred to IX Power, who is charged with commercializing the technology and making it available to global industries with contaminated water.
More than 4.2 trillion gallons of produced water are generated by the oil & gas industry during routine drilling and production operations every year. This water is contaminated with a complex mixture of salts, volatile and semi-volatile organics, metals, organic acids, and particulates, as well as additives from the drilling process.
Because produced water has historically been very difficult to treat and clean for reuse, oil & gas companies have been paying an exorbitant amount – about $40 billion per year – to have it trucked offsite and disposed of, either in reinjection wells or evaporation ponds. As noted by IX Power CEO John R. Grizz Deal, “In an age when water is at a premium, when people are still dying every day around the globe from a lack of clean water, this practice is a waste of a valuable resource. We have the proven technology to treat this water for safe reuse— a solution that is more cost-effective for industry than truck away and dispose solutions.”
Of the many contaminants in produced water, the volatile organic compounds known collectively as BTEX are the most dangerous. BTEX compounds are highly carcinogenic, cause birth defects, extensive harm to the central nervous system, and even immediate death with enough exposure. Although IX Power Clean Water’s OrganiClear three-part system effectively destroys many contaminants, it is most renowned for its ability to destroy BTEX, and it does so without leaving a toxic waste stream, for less cost than traditional oil & gas industry “haul away and re-inject” techniques — techniques which are now widely suspected of causing earthquakes in Oklahoma and Texas.
While OrganiClear is garnering recognition as a cost saving game-changer for the oil & gas industry, it also has applications beyond resource extraction. OrganiClear’s unique system is also able to eliminate poisons from community water sources such as E.coli, Giardia, and bacteriophages. OrganiClear is highly effective at eliminating oil and grease, and diesel and gasoline range organics, that can infiltrate community water sources as well as oil & gas-related operations.
IX Power Clean Water’s market is global. “We probably receive as many requests from outside of the country as we do from the oil & gas industry here in the states,” said Deal. “But this is not surprising. While treating produced water for reuse in the U.S. has an economic upside for the oil & gas industry, it’s a survival issue in many places around the planet that are dealing with severe drought issues. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, more people die from water-borne disease and contaminants than any other cause.”
Founded in 2012, IX Power Clean Water is one of several companies under IX Power, LLC — all focused on commercializing innovative technologies from universities and the Department of Energy’s U.S. National Laboratory complex. IX Power was founded by a team with decades of experience in bringing new products to market. It is comprised of John R. (Grizz) Deal, Dr. L. Robert Libutti, Randy Wilson, Dr. Otis “Pete” Peterson, and Deborah Deal-Blackwell.
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