Qatar’s GWSC to research MBRs for oil and gas water

The ConocoPhillips Global Water Sustainability Center (GWSC) in Qatar has been awarded a US$ 700,000 grant to research biological treatment of produced water from oil and gas using membrane bioreactors (MBRs).

The two-year project, financed by the Qatar National Research Fund as part of its 5th cycle of funding, will be carried out in partnership with Cranfield University of the UK. GWSC managing director Samer Adham will be lead principal investigator, with key investigators Arnie Janson and Raul Dores, while Professor Simon Judd will lead the Cranfield input.

“Biological treatment can be very effective for treatment of industrial wastewaters and investigating its feasibility for produced water treatment can present a challenge but yet an opportunity for the industry,” Adham told D&WR. “MBRs are well established for treatment of high-strength wastewaters as they can be operated at long sludge-retention times, but evaluating the MBR application to produced water treatment is still limited.”

GWSC was one of only two private companies (the other was GE) to receive funding in the 5th round out of 670 proposals. Each proposal is reviewed by five external international experts and selection means that a proposal is high quality in its scope and team and that the research directly address the national priorities in Qatar, says Adham.