Process simulation of ion exchange desalination treatment of coal seam gas associated water

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Water Process Engineering, 2019, 27 pp. 89 - 98
Issue Date:
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd The aim of this investigation was to develop an ion exchange process for the remediation of coal seam gas (CSG) associated water to make it suitable for beneficial reuse. The hypothesis was that computational modelling could accelerate the selection of appropriate ion exchange desalination strategies. Hence, we applied AqMB water process engineering software to predict which combination of weak acid cation (WAC), strong acid cation (SAC), weak base anion (WBA) and strong base anion (SBA) resins were most appropriate. Simulation results revealed that both SAC/WBA and SAC/SBA resin combinations were unable to meet water beneficial reuse standards for conductivity (< 950 μS/cm) due to the presence of bicarbonate species (4973 and 1918 μS/cm, respectively). Thus, a degasser unit was necessary to remove the large concentrations (ca. 1328 mg/L) of dissolved carbon dioxide formed due to decomposition of bicarbonate/carbonate species under acidic conditions in the cation resin stages. pH adjustment of effluent from the preferred SBA resin with acid not only did not meet solution conductivity guidelines but also raised the concentration of chloride or sulphate ions to levels, which may be detrimental for crop growth. Addition of a WAC resin allowed production of high quality water (either SAC/SBA/WAC or WAC/SAC/SBA combinations). To comply with sodium adsorption ratio requirements for irrigating soil it was suggested to apply micronized gypsum to the treated water. Economic evaluation suggested the treated water cost was A$1003 (WAC/SAC/SBA) to A$1276 (SAC/SBA/WAC) per ML treated which was comparable to estimated costs for a reverse osmosis desalination system.
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