In a joint paper, Produced Water Treatment for Reuse in Cyclic Steam Boilers and Crop Irrigation, TriSep and OriginClear confirm that electrochemical treatment and polishing membranes eliminate detectable levels of oil, enabling water reuse in agriculture and steam boilers.

The findings were presented at the International Water Conference (IWC) in Orlando on 15-19 November.

The paper reports that OriginClear's Electro Water Separation (EWS) technology effectively pretreats produced water from oil wells. TriSep's iSep Ultra Filtration (UF) membrane removes any remaining oil and suspended solids to acceptable reuse levels. Technology testing was conducted in California's San Joaquin formation, near Bakersfield.

"The IWC paper confirms that OriginClear's EWS technology, followed by our iSep UF, offers a viable treatment scheme for produced water," says TriSep Engineer, and lead author of the study, Lyndsey Wiles.

"The combined system can attain greater than 99.8% removal of turbidity and non-detectable levels of oil."

The paper reports that the raw feed had an average turbidity of 842 NTU and the treatment scheme offered greater than 99.8% removal. Oil levels in the water fed to the electrocoagulation unit were in the range of 50-150 mg/l, and the UF membrane was reported to consistently deliver effluent with non-detectable levels of oil.

"California is facing the harsh reality of prolonged drought and we need to look for new ways to manage our water supply," says Lee Portillo, vice president of engineering at OriginClear and co-author of the report.

"We believe our results confirm that produced water from oil and gas operations can be treated with electrolysis and UF membranes to a usable level."