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Title: Cost Effective Recovery of Low-TDS Frac Flowback Water for Re-use

Abstract

The project goal was to develop a cost-effective water recovery process to reduce the costs and envi-ronmental impact of shale gas production. This effort sought to develop both a flowback water pre-treatment process and a membrane-based partial demineralization process for the treatment of the low-Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) portion of the flowback water produced during hydrofracturing operations. The TDS cutoff for consideration in this project is < 35,000 {approx} 45,000 ppm, which is the typical limit for economic water recovery employing reverse osmosis (RO) type membrane desalination processes. The ultimate objective is the production of clean, reclaimed water suitable for re-use in hydrofracturing operations. The team successfully compiled data on flowback composition and other attributes across multiple shale plays, identified the likely applicability of membrane treatment processes in those shales, and expanded the proposed product portfolio to include four options suitable for various reuse or discharge applications. Pretreatment technologies were evaluated at the lab scale and down-selected based upon their efficacy in removing key contaminants. The chosen technologies were further validated by performing membrane fouling studies with treated flowback water to demonstrate the technical feasibility of flowback treatment with RO membranes. Process flow schemes were constructed for each of themore » four product options based on experimental performance data from actual flowback water treatment studies. For the products requiring membrane treatment, membrane system model-ing software was used to create designs for enhanced water recovery beyond the typical seawater desalination benchmark. System costs based upon vendor and internal cost information for all process flow schemes were generated and are below target and in line with customer expectations. Finally, to account for temporal and geographic variability in flowback characteristics as well as local disposal costs and regulations, a parametric value assessment tool was created to assess the economic attractiveness of a given flowback recovery process relative to conventional disposal for any combination of anticipated flowback TDS and local disposal cost. It is concluded that membrane systems in combination with appropriate pretreatment technologies can provide cost-effective recovery of low-TDS flow-back water for either beneficial reuse or safe surface discharge.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
General Electric Company, Boston, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1030557
DOE Contract Number:  
FE0000784
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
03 NATURAL GAS; DEMINERALIZATION; DESALINATION; ECONOMICS; FOULING; MEMBRANES; OSMOSIS; PERFORMANCE; PRODUCTION; REGULATIONS; SEAWATER; SHALE GAS; SHALES; SOLUTES; TARGETS; WATER; WATER TREATMENT

Citation Formats

Henderson, Claire, Acharya, Harish, Matis, Hope, Kommepalli, Hareesh, Moore, Brian, and Wang, Hua. Cost Effective Recovery of Low-TDS Frac Flowback Water for Re-use. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.2172/1030557.
Henderson, Claire, Acharya, Harish, Matis, Hope, Kommepalli, Hareesh, Moore, Brian, & Wang, Hua. Cost Effective Recovery of Low-TDS Frac Flowback Water for Re-use. United States. doi:10.2172/1030557.
Henderson, Claire, Acharya, Harish, Matis, Hope, Kommepalli, Hareesh, Moore, Brian, and Wang, Hua. Thu . "Cost Effective Recovery of Low-TDS Frac Flowback Water for Re-use". United States. doi:10.2172/1030557. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1030557.
@article{osti_1030557,
title = {Cost Effective Recovery of Low-TDS Frac Flowback Water for Re-use},
author = {Henderson, Claire and Acharya, Harish and Matis, Hope and Kommepalli, Hareesh and Moore, Brian and Wang, Hua},
abstractNote = {The project goal was to develop a cost-effective water recovery process to reduce the costs and envi-ronmental impact of shale gas production. This effort sought to develop both a flowback water pre-treatment process and a membrane-based partial demineralization process for the treatment of the low-Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) portion of the flowback water produced during hydrofracturing operations. The TDS cutoff for consideration in this project is < 35,000 {approx} 45,000 ppm, which is the typical limit for economic water recovery employing reverse osmosis (RO) type membrane desalination processes. The ultimate objective is the production of clean, reclaimed water suitable for re-use in hydrofracturing operations. The team successfully compiled data on flowback composition and other attributes across multiple shale plays, identified the likely applicability of membrane treatment processes in those shales, and expanded the proposed product portfolio to include four options suitable for various reuse or discharge applications. Pretreatment technologies were evaluated at the lab scale and down-selected based upon their efficacy in removing key contaminants. The chosen technologies were further validated by performing membrane fouling studies with treated flowback water to demonstrate the technical feasibility of flowback treatment with RO membranes. Process flow schemes were constructed for each of the four product options based on experimental performance data from actual flowback water treatment studies. For the products requiring membrane treatment, membrane system model-ing software was used to create designs for enhanced water recovery beyond the typical seawater desalination benchmark. System costs based upon vendor and internal cost information for all process flow schemes were generated and are below target and in line with customer expectations. Finally, to account for temporal and geographic variability in flowback characteristics as well as local disposal costs and regulations, a parametric value assessment tool was created to assess the economic attractiveness of a given flowback recovery process relative to conventional disposal for any combination of anticipated flowback TDS and local disposal cost. It is concluded that membrane systems in combination with appropriate pretreatment technologies can provide cost-effective recovery of low-TDS flow-back water for either beneficial reuse or safe surface discharge.},
doi = {10.2172/1030557},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {3}
}