Pilot vapour-recompression plant tackles oil and gas water
A pilot project to treat produced water from oil and gas operations in southern Saskatchewan, Canada, has been initiated by Purestream Technology of Salt Lake City, USA, using its advanced vapour recompression (AVARA) system.The pilot project, sited in Strathmore, Alberta, is demonstrating its ability to treat and recycle water for potential future use in enhanced gas recovery in the Manville Sandstones and for hydraulic fracturing in the Saskatchewan portion of the Bakken Shale.
Late last year, the company performed a successful pilot project near Edson, Alberta that demonstrated AVARA's ability to treat produced and flowback water from several Canadian oil and gas production facilities.
Developed in collaboration with Utah State University Research Foundation's Space & Dynamics Labs, the AVARA system can process large volumes of water with very little energy cost because the energy expelled during the condensing phase feeds the evaporation phase.
Using a thermal membrane to separate produced water from the condensing chamber, steam is pulled from the evaporation side of the membrane and compressed by a blower into the condensing side of the membrane utilizing a state-of-the-art technology designed specifically to minimize fouling issues.
As the steam is compressed, it condenses onto the thermal membrane and releases energy through the membrane into the evaporation side. This in turn increases evaporation, creating a loop that cycles the energy while evaporating water.