Polymeric membranes for produced water treatment: an overview of fouling behavior and its control

Subrata Mondal 1
  • 1 Department of Community Development and Rural Technology, National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training and Research, Block FC, Sector III, Salt Lake City, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Subrata Mondal
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  • Subrata Mondal is an assistant professor at the National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR), Kolkata, India. Previously, he worked as a researcher in various universities, such as Colorado State University (USA), The University of Queensland (Australia) and The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi (UAE). Dr. Mondal got his doctoral degree from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong SAR). He has highly interdisciplinary research interests in advanced material science and novel membrane separation. As of now, 43 referred journal papers, 2 USA patents, 4 book chapters, and 18 conferences are to his credit.
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Abstract

Produced water (PW) from the oil/gas field is an important waste stream. Due to its highly pollutant nature and large volume of generation, the management of PW is a significant challenge for the petrochemical industry. The treatment of PW can improve the economic viability of oil and gas exploration, and the treated water can provide a new source of water in the water-scarce region for some beneficial uses. The reverse osmosis (RO) and selective nanofiltration (NF) membrane treatment of PW can reduce the salt and organic contents to acceptable levels for some beneficial uses, such as irrigation, and different industrial reuses. However, membrane fouling is a major obstacle for the membrane-based treatment of PW. In this review, the author discusses the polymeric membrane (mainly RO/NF) fouling during PW treatment. Membrane fouling mechanisms by various types of foulants, such as organic, inorganic, colloidal, and biological matters, are discussed. The review concludes with some of the measures to control fouling by membrane surface modification approaches.

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