Reliable One’s Water Treatment Process
Reliable One Resources is uniquely positioned to implement the most efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly water treatment processes for a variety of industrial costumers, beginning with produced and frac water for the oil and gas industry. Wastewater is a massive and growing problem for the oil and gas industry. The fracking process uses up to 11.4 million gallons of water per well. Approximately 60% of the injected water is returned to the surface as wastewater within the first 6 months, creating a logistic, economic, and environmental burden on operators. The Marcellus Shale region alone yielded 60 million gallons of produced water every 24 hours in 2016, and water use in the industry nationwide is growing.
The Reliable One strategy is to build, own, and operate water treatment facilities strategically located in and near major oil and natural gas producing regions.
The company’s system design uses existing technology, which has been used in the oil and gas industry for many years. However, these processes are unique in that they establish revenue streams that will 1) recoup the treatment costs, 2) recover valuable byproducts, and 3) minimize the long-term liability by converting the Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORMs) or other byproducts to a state in which are inert.
The produced and flowback water delivered to the site, typically via trucking companies including our own, will be sampled initially to identify the appropriate storage tank. Not all waters will go through every phase of the treatment system. Most of the plants built will have at least eight truck unloading stations, and each station will have three or four offloading connections, which direct the waters to the appropriate 20,000-barrel tank. The water will go through a filtration system to remove any suspended solids.
After filtration the water will go through a system to take out any organics an then the water will be pumped to the pellet reactors. These reactors involve a process which will take many of the minerals contained within the water like, hardness, calcium, boron, barium, and magnesium, and saturate them to levels where they will form crystals, or pellet as shown in the image on the left. These pellets can serve several functions as a soils product to elevate the pH of soils where acidic soils tend to reside. It could also be used in the cement business, since they take limestone and calcine it to produce calcium oxide, needed to make cement.
Because of this process, the minerals removed will become a product, as opposed to other approaches in which the removed minerals become waste. Depending on the mineral concentration, the amount of sludge produced from a conventional system would be 120 to 150 tons of dry solids that would need to be destroyed. At 20% solids, due to moisture contained within the sludge, that would equate to 750 tons that would have to be disposed of per day or $4.9 million dollars per year of disposal cost. The pellet reactor will produce between 90 and 128 tons per day, of 95% solids, and becomes a product that can be sold. In addition to the volume of material being produced, the difference, from a logistic side, one would need 37 trucks a day to haul away the sludge and the other will need 3 trucks per day to move product.
The water leaving the pellet reactor system will then move through a system that will polish the water to make sure that the salt being produce will meet the quality necessary for road salt and industrial needs. The most important purpose of this system is the removal of the NORMs and putting them into an inert or oxidized state. This will mitigate the reactivity of the NORMs as a long-range liability.
The brine water that is discharged from this system will be sent to two storage tanks for final treatment. The equipment to be used for the final process is a combination of evaporation and crystallization. The system works under a slight vacuum, which reduces the boiling point of water. The process involves removing the vapor coming off the evaporation process and capturing some of that heat to be placed in the incoming water. This accomplishes two purposes. First, the energy is captured in the incoming water, as mentioned. Second, by capturing that energy, it causes the steam to condense, forming condensate or high-quality water that will be used in the plant in various operations and which also can be sold.
It is expected that the moisture content of the salt coming out of the process will be between 5-7%, at which time the salt will be passed through a kiln or drying oven to reduce the moisture content to the desired levels. Bulk storage on site will consist of two 12,730 square foot building, which can hold approximately 7,700 tons of salt each.