For natural gas to be the fuel of the future, environmental concerns must be addressed. Fracking, the process used to extract natural gas, involves injecting chemicals into the ground in order to fracture the rock that contains the gas.

Some claim fracking contaminates water wells. A recent study from the U.K. finds these claims to be false.

However, perception is reality. And to this point, natural gas advocates are losing the PR battle despite efforts from energy giants like ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) to ease public concerns over the drilling technique.

New York issued a fracking moratorium while France is considering banning the drilling practice outright.

But many companies are working on addressing these environmental concerns by cleaning up the much-maligned drilling process.

Greener drilling
Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) and Baker Hughes (NYSE: BHI) developed a fracking fluid composed entirely of ingredients found in processed foods. One of the ingredients, guar gum, is a thickener used in ice cream.

Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK) is also attempting to alleviate fracking concerns with its Green Frac program. The program calls for the elimination of any chemical not critical in the drilling process.

Through its Green Frac program, the company has eliminated 25% of the chemicals previously used in the fracking process. In addition, Chesapeake is actively searching for safer alternatives for the remaining chemicals.

GasFrac (OTC BB: GSFVF.PK) is a company dedicated to efficient and environmentally friendly fracking. The company uses propane, as opposed to water, to extract natural gas. GasFrac claims the proprietary technology enhances well productivity as well as eliminates any possible reservoir contamination.

Revenue has increased sharply from roughly $30 million in 2009 to $97 million in 2010 as GasFrac continues to develop an impressive list of clients including Apache and Devon Energy.

Flotek (NYSE: FTK) is greening up fracking as well. The company sells a patented environmentally friendly fracking fluid made from citrus. This product could be a big winner for the company as natural gas producers look for safer ways to extract natural gas.

The bottom line
Recent developments are easing concerns over the natural gas extraction process. As these concerns are addressed begin to look for ways to invest in the golden age of natural gas.  

Fool contributor Adam J. Crawford does not own shares in any company mentioned in this article. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Chesapeake Energy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.