Project Synopsis

Provide a process alternatives evaluation followed by the preparation of a process design information for a proprietary new produced water desalination system.

Project Summary


The client, a new company formed by a group of engineers planning to sell technology, owns the design of a proprietary produced water desalination system.  Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted to design a pilot scale system for the new process using bench/laboratory scale data.  The pilot system was being built as a skid unit to be trial tested at a selected site in the Permian Basin in Texas.  PROCESS developed a design package that was used by the client to procure equipment, obtain budget level fabrication bids from contractors, and develop a more detailed cost estimate for the complete pilot system.  Additional detailed engineering was performed in-house by the client.  PROCESS performed the following project tasks:

  • Performed a technical and economic alternatives analysis for the produced water pretreatment systems based on the requirements of the proprietary desalination process.  This included evaluation of available technologies for removal of oil and solids, selective ions, and volatile organic compounds (VOC) to meet specific targets required for the proprietary produced water treatment system. It also involved generation of an order-of-magnitude cost estimate for each technically feasible alternative that the client could use for project budgeting purposes.
  • Prepared a heat and material balance model (HMB) for the complete desalination process at various production levels (5 total).  Unit operations included humidification, dehumidification, crystallization, and integral heat recovery.
  • Prepared equipment duty specifications for all unit operations.
  • PROCESS also identified potential vendors for each piece of equipment.  This involved a review of existing technologies already available and their potential for use as one of the key humidification and dehumidification unit operations develop by the client.
  • Prepared piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs) and equipment and instrument lists for the new pilot process.

PROCESS identified key scale-up discrepancies and communicated to the client the potential for additional heat removal requirements in the pilot system that was not originally expected.    PROCESS also delivered a dynamic simulation of the process for use by the client in future water purification application reviews.  Equipment that was reviewed included: air humidifiers and dehumidifiers, brine heaters, pumps, crystallizers, hot oil systems, high temperature water systems, heat recovery systems, water softening systems, settlers, dissolved air floatation (DAF) systems, oil water separation systems, fixed bed adsorbers, air coolers and air strippers.

Industry Type

  • Water Purification

Utilized Skills

  • Technical and economic alternatives evaluation
  • Process design

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