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Hickenbottom K.L.,Colorado School of Mines | Hancock N.T.,Colorado School of Mines | Hutchings N.R.,Bear Creek Services | Appleton E.W.,Bear Creek Services | And 3 more authors.
Desalination | Year: 2013

To produce large volumes of newly discovered unconventional gas, hydraulic fracturing of wells is commonly practiced in basins where shale gas and coal bed methane are extracted. Hydraulic fracturing of wells during oil and gas (O&G) exploration consumes large volumes of fresh water and generates larger volumes of contaminated wastewater. In this study, a novel application of forward osmosis (FO) was tested for treatment and reclamation of water from drilling waste to facilitate beneficial water reuse. By using FO, two major benefits were achieved: both the volume of the waste stream and the need for a fresh water source were greatly reduced. Results indicate that FO can achieve high rejection of organic and inorganic contaminants, membrane fouling was reversible, and that the process was able to effectively recover more than 80% of the water from the drilling waste. Osmotic backwashing was demonstrated to be an effective membrane cleaning technique; successfully removing fouling and restoring water flux. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Lutchmiah K.,KWR Watercycle Research Institute | Cornelissen E.R.,KWR Watercycle Research Institute | Harmsen D.J.H.,KWR Watercycle Research Institute | Post J.W.,KWR Watercycle Research Institute | And 4 more authors.
Water Science and Technology | Year: 2011

This research is part of the Sewer Mining project aimed at developing a new technological concept by extracting water from sewage by means of forward osmosis (FO). FO, in combination with a reconcentration system, e.g. reverse osmosis (RO) is used to recover high-quality water. Furthermore, the subsequent concentrated sewage (containing an inherent energy content) can be converted into a renewable energy (RE) source (i.e. biogas). The effectiveness of FO membranes in the recovery of water from sewage has been evaluated. Stable FO water flux values (>4.3 LMH) were obtained with primary effluent (screened, not treated) used as the feed solution. Fouling of the membrane was also induced and further investigated. Accumulated fouling was found to be apparent, but not irreversible. Sewer Mining could lead to a more economical and sustainable treatment of wastewater, facilitating the extraction of water and energy from sewage and changing the way it is perceived: not as waste, but as a resource. © IWA Publishing 2011. Source

Schultz W.L.,Hydration Technology Innovations
Pollution Engineering | Year: 2010

Forward Osmosis (FO), which directly achieves separation of water from a feed solution, has yielded promising results in recycling millions of gallons of fresh water used daily in the oil and gas drilling process. FO is driven by an osmotic pressure gradient, which draws out the higher concentration solution. Bear Creek Services has been putting a portable, scalable FO system into use as an oilfield wastewater reclamation system. The process is powered using a concentrated salt solution that is typically already used at the well site. The membrane in the FO system rejects 100 percent of viruses, bacteria and solids. It also rejects more than 90 percent of undesirable solutes including iron, calcium, barium, etc. The primary reclamation process is driven by alternative energy using an osmotic gradient drive. The system operates with a relatively small carbon footprint and eliminates the carbon footprint resulting from normal drilling wastewater disposal and transportation. Source

Coday B.D.,Colorado School of Mines | Miller-Robbie L.,Colorado School of Mines | Beaudry E.G.,Hydration Technology Innovations | Munakata-Marr J.,Colorado School of Mines | Cath T.Y.,Colorado School of Mines
Desalination | Year: 2015

The treatment of oil and gas (O&G) exploration wastewaters by forward osmosis (FO) could make water management in the O&G industry more sustainable. Specifically, recovery of pit water from well drilling operations and hydraulic fracturing could reduce the impacts associated with wastewater transportation, deep well disposal, and fresh water procurement for subsequent hydraulic fracturing operations. This study evaluates the environmental and economic impacts of FO for treatment of O&G pit water through comparative life cycle impact and costing assessments; the FO technology is evaluated when operated as an engineered osmosis system and as a stand-alone osmotic dilution process. Cradle-to-grave life cycle inventories are developed for each FO process and evaluated using ten environmental impact categories. The relative environmental impacts of FO are found to be comparable to the transportation and pumping energy alone required for deep well injection. At the current state of the technology, the energy demand of the FO systems when operated with no upstream pretreatment is the single greatest contributor to the negative environmental impacts. At 75% water recovery, FO can potentially reduce pit water management costs by nearly 60% compared to deep well disposal, and pit water transportation requirements can be reduced as much as 63%. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source

Jones N.,Hydration Technology Innovations
Water and Wastes Digest | Year: 2010

Challenge: Farms both large and small produce waste products and strive to control costs. Solution: Some, including Stahlbush, have put waste products to environmentally and financially friendly use by installing biodigesters. Conclusion: Biodigesters can generate electricity and eliminate greenhouse gas. Those featuring forward osmosis technology also can produce a concentrate that qualifies as an organic fertilizer. Source

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