Silica Technology

Produced Water Absorbents (PWA) has commercially launched its Osorb media technology, an organically modified silica for the treatment of oilfield water and gas streams (Fig. 3). The silica medium is hydrophobic and does not absorb water, but can remove more than 99% of free, dispersed, and soluble hydrocarbons and toxic contaminants from water and gas streams. The technology is applied in both onshore and offshore applications for the purposes of discharge, chemical enhanced oil recovery, reinjection, beneficial reuse, prevention of membrane fouling, air-emission controls, and offshore excursions. No permanent chemical bonds are formed between the medium and the contaminants during these processes because the medium is both an adsorbent and an absorbent. This lack of permanent bonding enables the repeated regeneration and reuse of the media while also recovering the captured contaminants. Regeneration can be achieved by use of various processes that typically maximize resources available on site, such as gaseous purge.

Fig. 3: PWA’s Osorb silica floating in a flask after absorbing more than 99% of all dispersed oil in a produced-water sample.

 


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