Water reclamation from shale gas drilling flow-back fluid using a novel forward osmosis-vacuum membrane distillation hybrid system

Xue Mei Li, Baolong Zhao, Zhouwei Wang, Ming Xie, Jianfeng Song, Long D. Nghiem, Tao He, Chi Yang, Chunxia Li, Gang Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined the performance of a novel hybrid system of forward osmosis (FO) combined with vacuum membrane distillation (VMD) for reclaiming water from shale gas drilling flow-back fluid (SGDF). In the hybrid FO-VMD system, water permeated through the FO membrane into a draw solution reservoir, and the VMD process was used for draw solute recovery and clean water production. Using a SGDF sample obtained from a drilling site in China, the hybrid system could achieve almost 90% water recovery. Quality of the reclaimed water was comparable to that of bottled water. In the hybrid FO-VMD system, FO functions as a pre-treatment step to remove most contaminants and constituents that may foul or scale the membrane distillation (MD) membrane, whereas MD produces high quality water. It is envisioned that the FO-VMD system can recover high quality water not only from SGDF but also other wastewaters with high salinity and complex compositions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1036-1044
Number of pages9
JournalWater Science and Technology
Volume69
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Drilling and fracturing fluid
  • Forward osmosis
  • Membrane distillation
  • Shale gas
  • Water reclamation
  • Water reuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology

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