There are multiple methods for treating brines produced from geothermal and oil and gas reservoirs. Conventional operations like deoiling, H2S removal, solids removal, VOC removal, silica removal, and hardness removal are common methods to make the water suitable for reuse as steam, water injection, or disposal. What is new, and interesting, is the research and development around extracting greater value from these enormous quantities of water. For example, certain produced water contains an appreciable concentration of lithium that is profitable to remove. Others have suitable salt compositions that make them easier to process into reusable waters using new separation technologies. Also new is the ability to simulate rigorously, some of these new extraction processes. Rigorous mass-modeling provides the operator with high-quality mass balance and property calculations. This helps them meet design and regulatory requirements. We will look at some of these examples in this spotlight presentation.
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