Recovery of water and minerals from shale gas produced water by membrane distillation crystallization

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Journal Article
Water Research, 2018, 129 pp. 447 - 459
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© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Shale gas produced water (SGPW) treatment imposes greater technical challenges because of its high concentration of various contaminants. Membrane distillation crystallization (MDC) has a great potential to manage SGPW since it is capable of recovering both water and minerals at high rates, up to near a zero liquid discharge (ZLD) condition. To evaluate the feasibility of MDC for SGPW treatment, MDC performance indicators, such as water recovery rate, solid production rate (SPR) and specific energy consumption (SEC), were systematically investigated, to our knowledge for the first time, by using actual SGPW from Eagle Ford Shale (USA). The main operating parameters including feed cross-flow velocity (CFV) and crystallization temperature (TCr) were optimized by performing a series of MDC experiments. The results reported that water and minerals were effectively recovered with 84% of recovery rate and 2.72 kg/m2day of SPR under respective optimal operating conditions. Furthermore, the scale mechanism was firstly identified as limiting factor for MDC performance degradation. Lastly, SEC of MDC was estimated to be as low as 28.2 kWh/m3 under ideal optimal operating conditions. Our experimental observations demonstrated that MDC could sustainably and effectively recover water and mineral with low energy consumption from SGPW by optimizing operating condition.
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