MODIFIED REVERSE OSMOSIS SYSTEM FOR TREATMENT OF PRODUCED WATERS

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This report describes work performed during the first year of the project ''Modified Reverse Osmosis System for Treatment of Produced Waters.'' This research project has two objectives. The first objective is to test the use of clay membranes in the treatment of produced waters by reverse osmosis. The second objective is to test the ability of a system patented by the New Mexico Tech Research Foundation to remove salts from reverse osmosis waste streams as a solid. We performed 12 experiments using clay membranes in cross-flow experimental cells. We found that, due to dispersion in the porous frit used adjacent ... continued below

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82 pages

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Whitworth, T.M. & Li, Liangxiong September 15, 2002.

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Description

This report describes work performed during the first year of the project ''Modified Reverse Osmosis System for Treatment of Produced Waters.'' This research project has two objectives. The first objective is to test the use of clay membranes in the treatment of produced waters by reverse osmosis. The second objective is to test the ability of a system patented by the New Mexico Tech Research Foundation to remove salts from reverse osmosis waste streams as a solid. We performed 12 experiments using clay membranes in cross-flow experimental cells. We found that, due to dispersion in the porous frit used adjacent to the membrane, the concentration polarization layer seems to be completely (or nearly completely) destroyed at low flow rates. This observation suggests that clay membranes used with porous frit material many reach optimum rejection rates at lower pumping rates than required for use with synthetic membranes. The solute rejection efficiency decreases with increasing solution concentration. For the membranes and experiments reported here, the rejection efficiency ranged from 71% with 0.01 M NaCl solution down to 12% with 2.3 M NaCl solution. More compacted clay membranes will have higher rejection capabilities. The clay membranes used in our experiments were relatively thick (approximately 0.5 mm). The active layer of most synthetic membranes is only 0.04 {micro}m (0.00004 mm), approximately 1250 times thinner than the clay membranes used in these experiments. Yet clay membranes as thin as 12 {micro}m have been constructed (Fritz and Eady, 1985). Since Darcy's law states that the flow through a material of constant permeability is inversely proportional to it's the material's thickness, then, based on these experimental observations, a very thin clay membrane would be expected to have much higher flow rates than the ones used in these experiments. Future experiments will focus on testing very thin clay membranes. The membranes generally exhibited reasonable stable rejection rates over time for chloride for a range of concentrations between 0.01 and 2.5 M. One membrane ran in excess of three months with no apparent loss of usability. This suggests that clay membranes may have a long useable life. Twenty different hyperfiltration-induced solute precipitation experiments were either attempted or completed and are reported here. The results of these experiments suggest that hyperfiltration-induced solute precipitation is possible, even for very soluble substances such as NaCl. However, the precipitation rates obtained in the laboratory do not appear to be adequate for commercial application at this time. Future experiments will focus on making the clay membranes more compact and thinner in order to obtain higher flux rates. Two alternative methods of removing solutes from solution, for which the New Mexico Tech Research Foundation is preparing patent applications, are also being investigated. These methods will be described in the next annual report after the patent applications are filed. Technology transfer efforts included two meetings (one in Farmington NM, and one in Hobbs, NM) where the results of this research were presented to independent oil producers and other interested parties. In addition, members of the research team gave seven presentations concerning this research and because of this research project T. M. (Mike) Whitworth was asked to sit on the advisory board for development of a new water treatment facility for the City of El Paso, Texas. Several papers are in preparation for submission to peer-reviewed journals based on the data presented in this report.

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82 pages

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OSTI as DE00826003

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  • Other Information: PBD: 15 Sep 2002

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  • Report No.: NONE
  • Grant Number: FC26-00BC15326
  • DOI: 10.2172/826003 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 826003
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc779110

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  • September 15, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Jan. 3, 2017, 12:54 p.m.

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Whitworth, T.M. & Li, Liangxiong. MODIFIED REVERSE OSMOSIS SYSTEM FOR TREATMENT OF PRODUCED WATERS, report, September 15, 2002; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc779110/: accessed November 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.