Current WRP Projects: Project 55

Recycling Co-Produced Waters (Cws) in the Energy Industry for Economic Development

  • Project Number:  55
  • PIs: Maohong Fan, Endowed Professor of School of Energy Resources indcx Chemical & Petroleum Eng., UW and Adjunct Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Period: July 2018 – December 2021. Report Extension.



Oil and gas producers discharge a great amount of CWs in Wyoming. This water resource was disposed of as waste by discharge into the environment, either with or without treatment. Only a minimal amount of this water was reused, specifically for irrigation and industrial applications due the low efficiency and high cost of conventional CWs treatment technologies. Thus, significant efforts need to be put forth as the Wyoming Water Development Office emphasized to develop new CWs treatment technologies to meet the economic development in Wyoming. CWs once considered as a waste stream can therefore be transformed into valuable resources – am important driver for the economic development in Wyoming. 

The proposed project seeks to develop a set of new technologies (including molecular organic rejection, magnetic flocculation and nano filtration) for turning CWs discharged by the energy industry into useable or reusable water resources for economic development. The purpose and specific goals of the project are to reduce the undesired species or compounds [heavy metals, total organic carbon (TOC), suspended solids (SS), total dissolved solids (TDS)] to acceptable levels (depending on each application of treated CW) with only ~50% costs needed with conventional methods or commercially available technologies. The project seeks to achieve these goals through the use of new technologies. The technologies have a number of advantages, especially with minimal requirements for chemicals largely needed in conventional CWs treatment technologies.

The project will be realized by demonstrating the proposed CWs treatment or management technology in pilot-scale applications at an oil or natural gas production site being operated in Wyoming.



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