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Title: Membrane Technology for Produced Water in Lea County

Abstract

Southeastern New Mexico (SENM) is rich in mineral resources, including oil and gas. Produced water is a byproduct from oil and gas recovery operations. SENM generates approximately 400 million barrels per year of produced water with total dissolved solids (TDS) as high as ~ 200,000 ppm. Typically, produced water is disposed of by transporting it to injection wells or disposal ponds, costing around $1.2 billion per year with an estimated use of 0.3 million barrels of transportation fuel. New Mexico ranks first among U.S. states in potash production. Nationally, more than 85% of all potash produced comes from the Carlsbad potash district in SENM. Potash manufacturing processes use large quantities of water, including fresh water, for solution mining. If the produced water from oilfield operations can be treated and used economically in the potash industry, it will provide a beneficial use for the produced water as well as preserve valuable water resources in an area where fresh water is scarce. The goal of this current research was to develop a prototype desalination system that economically treats produced water from oil and/or natural gas operations for the beneficial use of industries located in southeastern New Mexico. Up until now, most watermore » cleaning technologies have been developed for treating water with much lower quantities of TDS. Seawater with TDS of around 30,000 ppm is the highest concentration that has been seriously studied by researchers. Reverse osmosis (RO) technology is widely used; however the cost remains high due to high-energy consumption. Higher water fluxes and recoveries are possible with a properly designed Forward Osmosis (FO) process as large driving forces can be induced with properly chosen membranes and draw solution. Membrane fouling and breakdown is a frequent and costly problem that drives the cost of desalination very high. The technology developed by New Mexico Tech (NMT) researchers not only protects the membrane, but has also proven to generate higher water flux, based on the series of experiments conducted. Laboratory tests at NMT demonstrated that an unprecedented water flux of 1300 l/m2/hr (where typical flux is on the order of 0-3 l/m{sup 2}/hr) can be achieved from a properly designed membrane module. The patent pending NMT system, which was designed and developed at NMT was successful in reducing the possibility for concentration polarization and thereby increasing the permeate water flux, while still maintaining a high salt rejection rate of 96% or greater. For feed solutions having a dissolved contaminant concentration greater than 10,000 ppm, preliminary economic analysis demonstrates that a well-designed FO process will outperform an RO process. Most produced water generated in SENM has TDS higher than 10,000 ppm. Therefore, it is logical to use FO to desalinate the water. Since the issues associated with concentration polarization has only recently been solved by our mechanically enhanced membrane module, the level of system maturity is not at the same level as that for RO. Our efforts going forward will be directed at taking the technology to a higher level of system maturity. With the superior cost effectiveness for FO, it is imperative that this technology reach a point that is competitive with RO in order to meet the expanding need for water for industries in SENM. NMT seeks to demonstrate the greater cost effectiveness by proving the process through a scaled up model. To ensure success, NMT feels it is important to demonstrate this technology in a larger system, (~ 100,000 GPD), before venturing to the commercial scale. This will build confidence in the process with the commercial sector. In addition, it will be possible to develop some of the operational processes around renewable energy sources for the scaled up model. This will further lower the operating costs and enhance the environmentally clean aspect of the process.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
County Of Lea
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1062985
DOE Contract Number:  
NT0005227
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; 03 NATURAL GAS; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Nelson, Cecilia, and Ghosh, Ashok. Membrane Technology for Produced Water in Lea County. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.2172/1062985.
Nelson, Cecilia, & Ghosh, Ashok. Membrane Technology for Produced Water in Lea County. United States. doi:10.2172/1062985.
Nelson, Cecilia, and Ghosh, Ashok. Thu . "Membrane Technology for Produced Water in Lea County". United States. doi:10.2172/1062985. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1062985.
@article{osti_1062985,
title = {Membrane Technology for Produced Water in Lea County},
author = {Nelson, Cecilia and Ghosh, Ashok},
abstractNote = {Southeastern New Mexico (SENM) is rich in mineral resources, including oil and gas. Produced water is a byproduct from oil and gas recovery operations. SENM generates approximately 400 million barrels per year of produced water with total dissolved solids (TDS) as high as ~ 200,000 ppm. Typically, produced water is disposed of by transporting it to injection wells or disposal ponds, costing around $1.2 billion per year with an estimated use of 0.3 million barrels of transportation fuel. New Mexico ranks first among U.S. states in potash production. Nationally, more than 85% of all potash produced comes from the Carlsbad potash district in SENM. Potash manufacturing processes use large quantities of water, including fresh water, for solution mining. If the produced water from oilfield operations can be treated and used economically in the potash industry, it will provide a beneficial use for the produced water as well as preserve valuable water resources in an area where fresh water is scarce. The goal of this current research was to develop a prototype desalination system that economically treats produced water from oil and/or natural gas operations for the beneficial use of industries located in southeastern New Mexico. Up until now, most water cleaning technologies have been developed for treating water with much lower quantities of TDS. Seawater with TDS of around 30,000 ppm is the highest concentration that has been seriously studied by researchers. Reverse osmosis (RO) technology is widely used; however the cost remains high due to high-energy consumption. Higher water fluxes and recoveries are possible with a properly designed Forward Osmosis (FO) process as large driving forces can be induced with properly chosen membranes and draw solution. Membrane fouling and breakdown is a frequent and costly problem that drives the cost of desalination very high. The technology developed by New Mexico Tech (NMT) researchers not only protects the membrane, but has also proven to generate higher water flux, based on the series of experiments conducted. Laboratory tests at NMT demonstrated that an unprecedented water flux of 1300 l/m2/hr (where typical flux is on the order of 0-3 l/m{sup 2}/hr) can be achieved from a properly designed membrane module. The patent pending NMT system, which was designed and developed at NMT was successful in reducing the possibility for concentration polarization and thereby increasing the permeate water flux, while still maintaining a high salt rejection rate of 96% or greater. For feed solutions having a dissolved contaminant concentration greater than 10,000 ppm, preliminary economic analysis demonstrates that a well-designed FO process will outperform an RO process. Most produced water generated in SENM has TDS higher than 10,000 ppm. Therefore, it is logical to use FO to desalinate the water. Since the issues associated with concentration polarization has only recently been solved by our mechanically enhanced membrane module, the level of system maturity is not at the same level as that for RO. Our efforts going forward will be directed at taking the technology to a higher level of system maturity. With the superior cost effectiveness for FO, it is imperative that this technology reach a point that is competitive with RO in order to meet the expanding need for water for industries in SENM. NMT seeks to demonstrate the greater cost effectiveness by proving the process through a scaled up model. To ensure success, NMT feels it is important to demonstrate this technology in a larger system, (~ 100,000 GPD), before venturing to the commercial scale. This will build confidence in the process with the commercial sector. In addition, it will be possible to develop some of the operational processes around renewable energy sources for the scaled up model. This will further lower the operating costs and enhance the environmentally clean aspect of the process.},
doi = {10.2172/1062985},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {6}
}