2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 11
Presentation Time: 11:00 AM


ALTARE, Craig R.1, BOWMAN, Robert S.1, SULLIVAN, Enid J.2, KATZ, Lynn E.3 and KINNEY, Kerry A.3, (1)Earth and Environmental Science, New Mexico Tech, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM 87801, (2)Chemistry Division, CDE Group, Los Alamos National Laboratory, MS J964, Los Alamos, NM 87545, (3)Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Department-EWRE, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C1786, Austin, NM 78712-0273, caltare@nmt.edu

Waters that are co-produced from oil and gas recovery represent an enormous waste stream in the United States. Billions of tons of these produced waters are generated each year. Produced water often contains hazardous, soluble organic compounds such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX). We are investigating a low-cost treatment system for produced water using surfactant-modified zeolite (SMZ). The goal of the treatment system is to allow produced water to be put to a beneficial use such as dust control or make-up water at production facilities.

Previous laboratory and field investigations have shown that SMZ is an effective sorptive media for the removal of BTEX from produced water. It has also been demonstrated that SMZ saturated with BTEX is readily regenerated via air stripping with little loss of sorption capacity over 10 sorption/regeneration cycles. We are currently examining whether the SMZ remains an effective sorptive medium over long-term (up to 100) repeated sorption and regeneration cycles. Loss of sorption capacity and loss of surfactant from zeolite particles are monitored through chemical analysis of effluent waters. Additionally, we monitor SMZ particle breakdown and the resultant impact on the hydraulic properties of the column. The results from these experiments will have implications for future pilot scale tests of the SMZ system.