Disruptive Technology for Produced Water Treatment





Meng Lean

Disruptive Technology for Produced Water Treatment

This talk describes a two-step approach incorporating a front-end pre-conditioner and a back-end
hydrodynamic separator to treat produced water without using any filtration barrier. The preconditioner
may be tailored for the targeted use. For divalent metal precipitation, the preconditioning
step may include lime softening and soda ash treatment to rapidly create
precipitates for immediate downstream separation. For oil/water separation, the preconditioning
step may include mixing at the designed shear rate to create an emulsion of the preferred drop
size for separation. The hydrodynamic separation is an innovation that takes advantage of
centrifugal force to create precise flow patterns that sweep neutrally buoyant suspensions to a
position where force equilibrium results in focusing and the formation of a band which may be
diverted to a waste stream at the end of the channel. This use of centrifugal force is not the same
as in traditional hydrocyclones and centrifuges where particles of different density from the
liquid is moved relative to the liquid using very high (1000s) relative centrifugal force (RCF).
The RCF in our device is in single digits, and is the main reason for the low power requirement.
Other salient features include: scalability, small foot print, continuous flow operation, filter-less,
and modular construction. Sample results for treatment of raw produced water for divalent metal
precipitation and separation, and oil/water separation will be discussed in the talk.

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