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VSEP Treatment of Produced Water – A Comparison of Conventional Treatment Methods and VSEP, a Vibrating Membrane Filtration System.

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BreitBurn Energy Inc. operates a crude oil production facility in Santa Maria, California. They have implemented steam flooding in their process and are using steam generators in their operations to enhance oil production. Re-injection of produced water into the source formations has been the method of disposal. After evaluation of the VSEP technology, BreitBurn has implimented a treatment scenario where the produced water will be treated with the VSEP membrane process to make water that is clean enough to be fed to steam boilers used for steam flooding of the oil bearing formation. This inovative process will take a waste that is currently a liability and convert it to a valuable resource source material used in the production of crude oil. The economic and political effects of this are very benenficial. The continuous process of purchasing fresh water and disposing of the waste product seemed to be an impractical process method. They wanted to utilize this wastewater as a valuable byproduct. A process that could produce quality water with very low hardness for their steam generators from the produced water was ideal. The recycling of treated water into their process would eliminate the need for purchasing water and reduce the volume of waste disposal, but needed to meet economical requirements. The Vibratory Shear Enhanced Process, (VSEP), technology has been installed in other areas for treatment of surface water to make ultrapure water for manufacturing and has also been used in manufacturing plants to treat the wastewater reject from other membrane systems to assist in Zero-Discharge.
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Keywords: FILTRATION; FOULING; MEMBRANE; MINERAL SCALE; REVERSE OSMOSIS; SCALING CONTROL; SOLUBILITY LIMITS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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