Screening of Microfiltration and Ultrafiltration Ceramic Membranes for Produced Water Treatment and Testing of Different Cleaning Methods
Heydari Beni, Ali
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Membrane filtration, as a physical treatment method, was used to treat produced water (PW). Two ceramic microfiltration (MF) membranes and two ceramic ultrafiltration (UF) membranes were tested. The treatment target was to reach a contamination level suitable for further treatment by nanofiltration (NF)/reverse osmosis (RO) polymeric membranes, discharge into sea or injection into oil wells for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). MF 0.3 m TiO2/ZrO2 and MF 0.1 m SiC membranes were initially tested. The MF 0.1 m SiC membrane was selected based on the permeate flux and rejection performances. The selected MF membrane was used as the first filtration step. The two UF membranes, UF 0.04 m SiC and UF 150 KDa TiO2/ZrO2, were used for further treatment of the permeate. Finally, the UF membranes were directly tested for the treatment of PW, as a result, the UF 0.04 m SiC membrane was selected as the most suitable UF membrane for the PW used. When the selected MF and UF membrane, the UF 0.04 m silicon carbide (SiC) membrane appeared to be the most suitable membrane since it could totally remove the oil, but, it also had the disadvantage of lower permeate flux than the selected MF membrane. The effects of transmembrane pressure (TMP) and cross flow velocity (CFV) on the permeate quality and flux of the selected MF and UF membranes were investigated. Different membrane cleaning methods including cleaning-in-place (CIP), backwashing and backpulsing were used to clean the fouled UF membrane. Hermia’s models were used to investigate the fouling mechanisms involved in all the filtration operations conducted. It was found that the cake layer formation and at a lesser degree the intermediate blocking were the predominant fouling mechanisms which controlled the permeate flux of filtrations at all operating conditions tested.