With increased community pressure and additional legislative compliance, IDE Technologies says it is time for coal seam gas (CSG) companies to consider new technology for the treatment of brine waste water.
Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) requirements for the treatment of brine waste water has been a problem for operators due to the high operating expenditure cost of energy and chemicals for reverse osmosis (RO) systems, and the visual impact and energy cost of large scale brine concentrators, the company said.
Determined that the time is right for CSG companies to adopt innovative technology improvements, IDE has launched the latest generation of its direct osmosis high salinity (DOHS) membrane cleaning system.
Speaking with Oil & Gas Australia, IDE vice president and chief technology officer of membrane technologies, Dr Boris Liberman said IDE was reluctant to license the DOHS technology, but considering the current market conditions and environmental concerns, IDE offers integration of its own DOHS system into existing operating plants.
“We believe that as CSG companies move from construction phase to operation phase, reducing operational costs of energy and chemicals becomes a major focus and hence DOHS comes into play with reducing specific energy consumption and chemical consumption,” Dr Liberman said.
The DOHS system eliminates chemical use in membrane cleaning, increases process recovery ration and prolongs membrane life, IDE said.
Increasing the process recovery means fewer thermal brine treatment plants for the CSG sector, the company said.
Commenting on how the system could reduce costs for companies transitioning into the operational phase, Dr Liberman said the DOHS system minimises chemical cleaning time, reduces the amount of chemicals used, increases process recovery and extends membrane lifetime.
“DOHS is a well proven and commercially proven technology with a strong track record. IDE offers its proprietary technology in a chemical-free preventive cleaning mechanism for the membranes, known as direct osmosis cleaning as of 2005,” he said.
There have been a number of successful commercial installations across the globe, with more recent installations in the United States and Singapore in the last two or three years, Dr Liberman said.IDE is also introducing its range of horizontal brine concentrators where the innovation in design allows for a system that is only 10 metres high rather than other systems which are some 30 metres high.