|Address:||G5703, 5/F, Yeung Kin Man Academic Building (YEUNG),
City University of Hong Kong,
Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, US
School of Energy and Environment
City University of Hong Kong
High volume horizontal Hydraulic fracturing (HF) has emerged as a revolutionary method to stimulate the tight shale well, and dramatically increased the unconventional oil and gas production. Once the fracturing pressure released, the stimulated well starts to produce a complex saline mixture, referred as hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced water (HF-FPW). Increasing concerns have been raised regarding the environmental impact of releases of this wastewater to aquatic ecosystems. The toxicity of HF-FPW has not been previously reported, and is complicated by the combined complexity of organic and inorganic constituents in HF fluids and deep formation water. My research focuses on characterizing the chemical and toxicological profiles, and exploring the mechanisms of toxicity of HF-FPW. Targeted and untargeted organic analyses have revealed the HF-FPW contains numerous organics including natural hydrocarbons, additive organics, and potential secondary by-products. Acute and sub-chronic toxicity of HF-FPW was assessed on aquatic invertebrate and fish models. The adverse effects and toxic mechanism of HF-FPW on biotransformation, oxidative stress, endocrine disruption, and embryo development were also evaluated in fish models by using a variety of enzymatic, biochemical, and molecular tools. Overall, this work is the first study to demonstrate the chemical and toxicological complexity of real HF-FPW samples, and has improved our understanding on mechanisms of toxicity of this complex petroleum-associated wastewater and its potential impacts on aquatic ecosystem.
Dr. Yuhe (Henry) He obtained his B.Sc. and M.Phil. from City University of Hong Kong, and Ph.D. in Toxicology from University of Saskatchewan. He is currently a postdoc fellow at University of Alberta. He is interested in how aquatic organisms respond when exposed to environmental contaminants and stressors. In particular, his research focuses on understanding the mechanism that lead to toxicity in aquatic organisms exposed to various natural and anthropogenic chemical stressors at the molecular and biochemical level. Currently, he is studying the emerging petroleum-associated wastewater issue in North America – the toxicity of hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced water using a variety of molecular and biochemical biomarkers on invertebrate and fish models. His other research interests include environmental toxicity and impact assessment on advance oxidation treatment, nanomaterial, nanopesticide, brominated flame retardants, and other emerging contaminants.