The overall objective of this project is to develop a new membrane-based filtration system for removing organic compounds from produced water (PW). The proposed membrane treatment process integrates the new filter with a series of well-established water treatment technologies, such as mechanical filtration and reverse osmosis (RO) membranes to remove all suspended and dissolved solids, organic molecules, bacteria and radioactive particles from the PW generated in oil and natural gas production.
TDA Research, Inc., Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Gas Technology Institute (GTI), Des Plaines, IL 60018
Matheson, Montgomeryville, PA 18936
The proposed research of this project will focus on the development and demonstration of a unique zeolite coated ceramic nanofiltration membrane that can selectively remove the organic compounds to protect a downstream (final-stage) desalination system. The state-of-the-art RO membranes currently used to remove dissolved solids are severely fouled by the organic compounds in the PW, and the proposed ceramic nanofiltration membrane will extend the life of the RO units by removing these impurities prior to desalination. This project will develop and demonstrate a prototype system capable of processing 10 kg/day of PW. A detailed design of the full-scale system, including the design of all auxiliary units supporting operations will also be developed. Finally, a technoeconomic analysis will be completed to addresses any regulatory issues related to the use of the reclaimed water and the disposal of waste byproducts.
The novel ceramic nanofiltration membrane offers many benefits over polymer membranes including stability to chemicals; tolerance to high pressure, temperature, and abrasion; and long lifetimes. Chemical stability allows aggressive chemical cleaning procedures over a wide range of acidity. Ceramic membranes also offer high flux rates because they tolerate higher cross flow. They are easier to operate than polymeric membranes because they can be drained and removed from service and then restarted (polymer membranes must stay wet to maintain performance). Ceramic membranes are more expensive than polymeric membranes but have shown 20 years of operation with minimal loss in permeability.
The project entered Budget Period 2 on August 6, 2021. This budget period is focused on the fabrication of a 10 kg/h prototype to complete the concept demonstration. The objective is to achieve removal of organic compounds to less than 2 ppmw at a water recovery greater than 70% using produced water from multiple locations. Membrane Life Tests will also be completed to demonstrate a target degradation rate of less than 1.5% in performance over 1000 hours of operations. Based on the results of these tests, the commercial membrane system design and Technoeconomic Analysis will be updated.