Fracking has revolutionised the US energy market, with oil and gas extraction lowering household gas prices, reducing energy costs, while helping make the country energy self-sufficient.
Considered faster and more efficient than other methods of extraction, the process involves injecting large volumes of water, chemicals, and sand at high pressure deep underground to dislodge oil and gas.
The oil and gas are separated from the water, which is then pumped deep underground for storage in injection or disposal wells.
But in the last few years, there has been a notable increase in earthquakes in areas with fracking and injection wells.
On this episode of TechKnow, we travel to two small neighbouring towns in Texas – Reno and Azle – which have seen a jump in seismic activity.
We meet researchers at the Southern Methodist University trying to find out whether pressure from the injection process of the left-over waste water is re-awakening deep and ancient faults.
We then look at a new way of dealing with the left-over waste water instead of pumping it into underground holding wells.
We head to Los Angeles to see how OriginOil have come up with a chemical-free process to treat the water that can then be reused in the fracking process.
Also on this episode of TechKnow: Phil Torres talks to one of his all-time idols and internet sensations, former Commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield.
The Canadian astronaut discusses what motivated him to make the videos of life inside the ISS which have since gone viral.