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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

Start Date: 03/01/2006

End Date: 02/28/2007

Congressional District: 1

Focus Categories: Treatment, Geochemical Processes, Water Use

Keywords: Water Treatment, Beneficial Use, Geochemical Processes

Principal Investigators: Vance, George; Ganjegunte, Girisha K.; Surdam, Ronald C. (Wyoming State Geological Survey)

Federal Funds: $18,500

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $91,196

Abstract: Wyoming has experienced rapid growth in the development of coalbed natural gas (CBNG), primarily in the Powder River Basin (PRB); however, CBNG exploration and production is expected to continue to increase not only in the PRB, but also in other areas of Wyoming. One of the most contentious issues surrounding CBNG production is "what to do with all the produced water that must be removed to allow 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 researching the use of calcium (Ca2+)-rich zeolitic materials as Na+ exchangers. Research to date indicates that there is a significant reduction in the amount of Na+ and a lowering of SAR in CBNG produced waters after these waters are processed with the zeolitic materials. We hypothesis that the industry, land owners, and for downstream users will benefit from this new method of reducing Na+ and lowering SARs of CBNG waters. Our research includes three (3) primary tasks: 1) determination of cation exchange capacity (CEC), exchangeable cations, and volumetrics of selected zeolites deposits; 2) evaluation of the potential for cation exchange reactions between CBNG produced water and natural zeolite-rich deposits to reduce CBNG water SAR's; and 3) design of an economic, viable water treatment scenario based on cation exchange between natural zeolite and CBNG produced waters. We have addressed several of the subtasks associated with tasks 1 and 2. Additional research is being conducted on tasks 1 and 2, and research associated with task 3 will be done in the second year of this project. Both University of Wyoming and Wyoming State Geological Survey personnel have been participating in this project. Along with the co-PIs, students and technical support staff have also been integral to the success of this project.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 15, 2008
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