Application of membrane distillation for the treatment of oil field produced water

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Al-Salmi, Moza
Laqbaqbi, Mourad
Al-Obaidani, Sulaiman
Al-Maamari, Rashid S.
Al-Abri, Mohammed
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Elsevier Science Bv
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Direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) was investigated for the treatment of oil-field produced water using a hydrophobic polypropylene (PP) membrane with 0.2 mu m pore size. The DCMD performance was studied under different feed temperatures ranged from 40 degrees C to 80 degrees C while the cooling temperature was maintained at 23 degrees C. Increasing the feed water temperature resulted in a higher permeate water flux. Stable and reliable DCMD membrane performance was observed for all used membranes. The obtained results indicated the great potential of DCMD to treat hypersaline oil-field produced water with an overall rejection of salts higher than 99.9% and that of total organic carbon (TOC) greater than 93.3%. This was due to the presence of volatile organic compounds in oil-field water. Pre-treatment of produced water using 0.45 mu m filter did not show much effect on the DCMD performance. A slight gradual reduction of the permeate flux was observed due to fouling phenomenon. A simple washing the membrane with de-ionized water was found to be an effective method for cleaning the membrane and restoring the permeate flux indicating the absence of irreversible fouling.
© 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. This research was financially supported by Sultan Qaboos University grant #SR/ENG/PCED/17/01. The authors would like to thank Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) for providing the produced water samples and Mr. Mohammed Al-Salmi, mechanical workshop in MIE department, for constructing the DCMD system.
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