Investigation of oil adsorption capacity of granular organoclay media and the kinetics of oil removal from oil-in-water emulsions
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Produced water, a byproduct of oil and gas production, includes almost 98% of all waste generated by oil and gas exploration and their production activities. This oil contaminated waste water has a great impact on our environment and is considered to be a high-cost liability. The Department of EnergyÃ¢ÂÂs Oil and Gas Environmental Program is concerned with the development of new and affordable technology to clean this produced water. Organically modified clays are proposed as a good option for removal of oil from produced water. Organoclay, incorporated into a treatment process shows promise of being a cost effective method of treatment to remove crude oil from brine either as a final treatment prior to brine disposal at sea or as a precursor to desalination. Organoclay also pre-polishes the waste water before further treatment. This research studies the efficacy of using organoclay to remove oil by measuring its adsorption capacity to remove the oil from a SAE 30 (Golden West Superior) motor oil-water emulsion. A kinetic model was developed to examine the time dependent behavior of the oil adsorbing characteristics of the organoclay and to investigate how closely the experimentally obtained data matches the kinetic model. It was found that organoclay is effective in removing various percentages of oil depending on the concentrations of a SAE 30 (Golden West Superior) motor oil-water emulsion. Moreover, it was found that the experimental data closely follow the kinetic behavior of the organoclay as shown by the kinetic model. Since this research is specific to a particular type of oil, SAE 30, further research is required for verifying the adsorption capacity of organoclay in other types of oils. Moreover, it is also recommended that the adsorption capacity of the organoclay, together with conventional adsorbent such as GAC (Granular Activated Carbon), be investigated to determine if there is any further improvement in the adsorption capacity. Lastly, a detailed investigation using the actual produced water from the oil field should be conducted to determine the efficacy of the organoclay system in removing oil from water produced in the field.
Islam, Sonia (2006). Investigation of oil adsorption capacity of granular organoclay media and the kinetics of oil removal from oil-in-water emulsions. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from