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Comment Water Treatment

New process generates salable products from Marcellus produced water

By Scott Jenkins |

Produced water from natural gas wells in the Marcellus Shale Deposit is extremely high in total dissolved solids (TDS; levels of 25–35% TDS are common) and barium, making the water difficult to re-use and requiring injection in underground geologic formations. A new process is capable of generating salable chemicals from Marcellus produced water (water from hydraulic fracturing wells) and has recently received a U.S. patent. The process will be used in a scaled-up treatment facility that is in the planning stages. Process developer ProChemTech (Brockway, Pa.; www.prochemtech.com) is currently negotiating possible sites for the first plant using the water treatment technology, which generates barium sulfate (barite), solid sodium chloride and calcium chloride brine from Marcellus produced water. After an initial physical separation process to remove free oil and suspended solids, the produced water enters aeration tanks where it is chemically equalized to minimize variation of the water properties entering the process. The water enters an inclined plate clarifier, where it undergoes a chemical precipitation process under acidic (pH = 3.5–4.0) and oxidizing conditions to remove barium as barium sulfate. “The barite obtained…
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