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Project ID: 2005WY25B

Title: Innovative Technology Development to Maximize Beneficial Use of Produced Water from Coal Bed Natural Gas Operations in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming

Project Type: Research

Focus Categories: Treatment, Geochemical Processes, Water Use

Keywords: Water Treatment, Beneficial Use, Geochemical Processes

Start Date: 03/01/2005

End Date: 02/28/2006

Federal Funds: $35,100

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $84,240

Congressional District: 1

Principal Investigators:
George Vance

Girisha K. Ganjegunte

Ronald C. Surdam
Wyoming State Geological Survey


Wyoming has experienced rapid growth in the development of coal bed natural gas (CBNG), particularly in the Powder River Basin (PRB). Exploration and production is expected to increase not only in the PRB, but also in other areas of Wyoming. A contentious issue associated with CBNG production is what to do with all the produced water that must be removed in order for coal seams to degas. The primary concern with CBNG produced waters is the amount and influence sodium (Na+) (as defined by the sodium adsorption ratio (SAR)) has on soils, vegetation, wildlife and livestock in different environments, e.g., streams, agricultural lands, rangelands, and other PRB ecosystems. We are proposing research that will examine the use of calcium (Ca2+)-rich zeolitic materials as Na+ exchangers. Reduction in the amount of Na+ and a lowering of SAR will result in CBNG produced waters that can be beneficially used by the industry, land owners, and for downstream users. Proposed research will involve the completion of three (3) tasks including: 1) determination of cation exchange capacity (CEC), exchangeable cations, and volumetrics of selected zeolites (i.e., clinoptilolite) deposits; 2) evaluation of the potential for cation exchange reactions between CBNG produced water and natural clinoptilolite-rich deposits to reduce CBNG water SAR’s; and 3) design of an economic, viable water treatment scenario based on cation exchange between natural clinoptilolite and CBNG produced waters. University of Wyoming and Wyoming State Geological Survey personnel will participate in this project. The PIs have extensive experience in the areas of mineralogy, chemistry, and CBNG water research to successfully complete this 2 year project.

Progress/Completion Report PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Tuesday June 21, 2005 12:17 PM
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