Large amounts of produced water are generated during oil and gas production. Produced water, as it is known in the oil industry, is briny fluid trapped in the rock of oil reservoirs. The objective of this study was to test produced waters from a Montana USA oilfield using a mobile station to design a plant to cost efficiently treat the produced water for agricultural irrigation. We used combined physical and chemical treatment of produced water in order to comply with reuse and discharge limits. This mobile station consists of three stages: pretreatments, membrane filtration and post treatment. Two spiral-wound membrane units were employed and the rejections of various constituents were examined. The performance of two membranes, 20 kDa weight cut-off (MWCO) ultrafiltration and a polyamide-composite reverse osmosis membrane was investigated. The mobile station effectively decreased conductivity by 98%, COD by 100% and the SAR by 2.15 mgeqv0.5 in the produced water tested in this study. Cost analysis showed that the treatment cost of produced water is less expensive than to dispose of it by injection and this treated water may be of great value in water-poor regions. We can conclude that the mobile station provided a viable and cost-effective result to beneficial use of produced water.

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