Available Technology

Solar Evaporative Disposal of Produced Water with a Floating Lubricated Anti-Scaling Receiver

Existing methods of water treatment and disposal have limited effectiveness for managing produced water. A major byproduct of oil and gas extraction, produced water features high salinity (can be 2-8 times more saline than seawater) and toxicity that renders conventional desalination technologies ineffective, uneconomical, or otherwise undesirable. This technology uses a low complexity and economical system to completely evaporate produced water.
This evaporation system capitalizes on a double-layered material that floats and uses freely available solar energy to treat produced water. The wavelength-selective, insulating-thermally, salt-repelling, porous (WISP) material features a spectrally-selective solar absorber layer that harvests sunlight and a bottom foam insulator layer that localizes heat to promote high evaporation rates. The top absorber layer, comprised of a carbon material (e.g. carbon black) and possibly a polymer mix, also has a layer of anti-scaling lubricant that prevents salt deposition and performance degradation over time. This floating absorber-insulator structure serves to heat the surface of an evaporation pond and enhance evaporation. A transparent cover sits above the pond to condense and collect the vaporized water for reuse.
Use of cheap and abundant materials (economic materials for the receiver and solar energy) - High efficiency - Low in complexity for rapid industry-wide adoption
Gang Chen
Lab Representatives
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