[author: J. Steven Rutt]

Patent filings which refer to hydraulic fracturing are on the rise. In fact, the number appears to have almost doubled in the past five years. This is based on a review of the published patent applications at the USPTO web site. In 2012, pro-rated as of today, there should be about 473 patent applications publishing. In 2007, that number was only 246. From 2008-2010, the number rose to about 355 each year, and then rose dramatically in 2011 to 421.

Nanotechnology continues to be a source of innovation in this and related technologies. See, for example, Abstract below US Patent Publication 2012/0190598 published July 26, 2012 to Pure Liquid Solutions, LLC, on “Metallic Nanoparticle Biocide in Industrial Applications.”

A method includes providing and adding a measured dose amount of manufactured metallic nanoparticle material to a carrier material for pre-treatment of the carrier material prior to use of the carrier material and the manufactured metallic nanoparticle material in the sub-surface earth activity. Another method includes accessing a sub-surface earth opening used with a sub-surface earth activity, introducing an amount of manufactured metallic nanoparticle material into the sub-surface earth opening, and treating a sub-surface earth condition present at a sub-surface earth location accessible via the sub-surface earth opening. The sub-surface earth condition is treated with the manufactured metallic nanoparticle material. Another method includes accessing a product from a sub-surface earth location that is extracted in conjunction with the sub-surface earth activity, measuring and introducing a dose amount of manufactured metallic nanoparticle material with the product from the sub-surface earth location.