Treatment of oilfield produced water with ceramic membranes

Key technology in the treatment of produced water

Filtration with ceramic membranes is a key technology in the treatment of wastewater from oil and gas production. The largest waste stream in the oil and gas industry is oilfield wastewater, which is contaminated with a mixture of organic and inorganic compounds. Conventional treatment of this waste stream, called "produced water," is carried out using various physical, chemical, and biological methods. In the offshore sector, compact systems are used due to the limited space available.

Advantages of atech's membranes in oilfield wastewater filtration

Safe and efficient purification leads to:

  •  Significant reductions in the amount of waste
  • Possibility of re-injection of treated water into the oil well
  • Savings in fresh water consumption
  • High reliability even under difficult operating conditions
  • Long service life and thus a sustainable technology
  • Energy and cost savings
  • Constant processes with great stability
  • Low operating costs

atech membranes meet the high requirements

Oilfield wastewater contaminants consist mainly of oil droplets, with oil contents ranging from 2 to 600 mg/l - as well as suspended solids and additives, which are added depending on the specifics of the reservoir. In addition, the wastewater is often highly saline (1,000 up to 250,000 mg/l) and can have temperatures of up to 90°C. The use of ceramic atech membranes in oil and gas production leads to a significant reduction in the amount of waste, since the majority of the above-mentioned pollutants can be reliably separated and thus the treated water can be used for re-injection. Thus, huge amounts of fresh water are saved annually.

Membranes suitable for the filtration of oilfield wastewater

Channel- Diameter (mm) Pore size Flux (l/m²h) Temperature TMP (transmembrane-pressure) Cross flow velocity
3.3 2 MF/UF approx. 200-500 (depending on pollution level) Max. T.< 100 °C (212 °F) approx. 1,5 – 3 bar approx. 21,7 - 43,5 PSI 4 – 6 m/s 13-19 (ft/s)

Comparison of water quality before and after filtration

raw water on the right, filtered permeate on the left.