Natural Clinoptilolite Composite Coated Stainless Steel Tubular Membranes for Water Softening and Desalination

  • Author / Creator
    Adamaref, Solmaz
  • Water is an essential resource for life and sources of fresh water are limited. As population and industries are increasing around the world the need for reuse the water is increased. One of the most important industries in Alberta, Canada is oilsands industry. Steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) is a commercial, in-situ oil production technology in which water plays a central role. Purification of SAGD produced water is very vital for sustainable application of this technology. Researchers are motivated to develop new energy efficient methods and technologies to reuse water. Salinity is one major issue in SAGD produced water; sodium concentration in SAGD water (over 1400 ppm) is dominant as compared to other mineral ions. Therefore, to prevent scaling in boilers, desalination of SAGD water is very important for reuse of SAGD produced water. Membrane technology is the most widely used technology for water desalination.
    Recently, disc membranes generated from high purity natural clinoptilolite mineral rock have shown promising water desalination and de-oiling performance. In this study a new strategy for scaling up production of these types of membranes for industrial applications was applied and developed. Natural clinoptilolite powder from St. Cloud (Winston, NM, USA) and aluminum phosphate as a binder was deposited on the inner surface of porous stainless steel tubes by dip-drain technique. Phase composition and morphology of the coating materials were investigated using X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. Besides, particle size distribution of slurry is studied. The membrane performance (permeation and separation) in water softening were evaluated using Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) municipal tap water as feed source.
    Preliminary experimental results show a high water flux of 34.20 kg/m2.h and 91.88% and 87.03% of reduction of hardness and conductivity in a once-through membrane process at 160°C and feed pressure of 780 kPa, respectively.
    These results show that natural zeolite coated stainless steel tubular membranes have great potential for large-scale desalination of industrial wastewater at high temperature and pressures. The potential application of the membrane in treatment of steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) produced water at high temperature and pressure will be discussed.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.