This project will explore and evaluate the application of a novel pervaporation (PV) based irrigation technology for treating and reusing oil and natural gas produced water. While the ability of this technology to treat oil and gas produced waters are unknown, it has shown substantial promise in effectively treating similar brackish waters. The proposed research is specifically targeting small energy producers for whom treating produced waters is particularly challenging as a result of substantial investments that are often required to develop effective treatment systems.
The proposed technology requires minimal investments with regards to capital investment and energy in order to treat and reuse the produced water for irrigation. This work is unique from other efforts in that it does not rely on pressure or thermal gradients to treat the produced water. This attributed is likely to be particularly attractive for small producers. This project will provide industry professionals with the design and engineering data and information that will be needed for the near term application of the PV based irrigation system as a treatment option for produced waters. In summary, the objectives for this research project are: i) Evaluate the performance of the PV irrigation technology for treating oil/gas produced waters; ii) assess critical process design and operation issues associated with the PV irrigation technology through bench and pilotscale tests; iii) develop engineering and design information for implementing the PV irrigation technology in full-scale installations; and iv) develop a user friendly model for the PV irrigation technology to facilitate its implementation as a produced water management alternative.
These objectives will be accomplished through a collaborative effort by a team comprised of academic, engineering, and industry professionals. The principal investigator (PI) for the proposed project is Dr. Jonathan Brant from the University of Wyoming.
Serving as co-principal investigator (Co-PI) is Dr. Michael Templeton from the Imperial College London. Industry partners in this project include Robert Craig from WyoTex Ventures LLC and Mark Tonkin from the DTI Group.
The key deliverable from this collaborative effort will be the final report, which will provide a critical performance, and operational basis from which the industry may be able to assess the deasibility of using the PV irrigation technology for managing produced waters. Furthermore, this project will supply the industry with a computer model that may be used to estimate the performance and preliminary design and performance of the PV irrigation technology under varying site and feedwater characteristics.