Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015TX483B

Hollow fiber membrane air stripping for the removal of carbonate species in produced water from hydraulic fracturing

Institute: Texas
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,000

Principal Investigators: Dora Frances Sullivan-Gonzalez, Benny Freeman, Lynn Katz, Desmond Lawler

Abstract: Approximately 5.66 million m3 of wastewater per year is produced by hydraulic fracking; the “flowback” water constitutes about 10-30% of the water used in the fracking process. The ideal situation would be to treat and reuse the flowback water to reduce disposal costs and the demand for fresh water, but such treatment is difficult due to high saline content and presence of oils and other organics. In their pilot study, Miller et al. addressed the use of ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membranes modified with a polydopamine coating to treat produced water from the Barnett shale gas basin in Texas. I propose the addition of a hollow fiber (HF) air stripping membrane unit for CO2 removal as an intermediate step in this treatment train to improve the desalination performance of reserve osmosis. I will initially test the HF membrane using a variety of synthetic waters that contain varying concentrations of total dissolved solids under a range of parameters including transmembrane pressure and fluxes to achieve outlet concentrations <1ppm CO2. Then, I will test a combined HF membrane unit and reverse osmosis train with synthetic waters before testing the system with water from the Maggie Spain Water Reclamation Facility.