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Produced water design challenges

22 December 2020

Maintaining produced water quality is a critical environmental target, and legislative requirement, for many industries, not least in oil and gas production and processing. Design and operation of effective produced water separation systems requires understanding and management of a range of complex phenomena like flocculation, coalescence and, in this case, gas flotation.​

This paper presents Norton Straw’s work in developing a novel modelling approach, using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), to simulate gas flotation processes. The approach aims to predict the gas-oil coalescence process using a simple and time-efficient method.​

The approach is applicable to both compact flotation and induced-gas flotation systems and the results of the approach give direct comparisons of oil in water concentration both through a system and in the water exiting; this is an improvement over other approaches where flow characteristics are used as proxies to infer the separation effectiveness. In using flow characteristics alone there is potential for critical aspects or counter-intuitive mechanisms to mislead engineers.​

The approach aims to enable engineers and designers involved in the development, design and operation of produced water systems to more-fully understand both the complex fluid mechanics and efficiency of the process system.​

Read the full abstract or download the paper here​

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