Water treatment provider OriginClear has partnered with a local organisation in China’s Shandong Province in order to improve water usage at China’s largest commercial shale gas project.
A pilot site remediation project at Sinopec’s Fuling shale gas project in Chongqing City, in southwest China, is expected to take two to three weeks, OriginClear announced on April 11.
The pilot is aimed at qualifying OriginClear’s Electro Water Separation (EWS) technology for integration into a multi-stage process devised to process hydraulic fracturing and flowback water for on-site reuse. To expedite the pilot, OriginClear Technologies (Hong Kong) signed a sales licence agreement with Shandong Tong Heng Environmental Technologies (SDTH) on March 24 in DongYing, Shandong’s capital city, where SDTH is headquartered.
Sinopec’s energy-saving and environment protection project site manager, who was only identified by media as Dr Wang, said: “As water quality regulations tighten and water becomes increasingly scarce, wastewater treatment technologies will become more of a necessity and less of a choice. This is the problem we are facing here on the Fuling site.”
He added that the OriginClear process – which uses multi-stage electrolysis – “is chemical free and extremely energy efficient while simultaneously saving operators money”.
In the pilot test, Los Angeles-based OriginClear said its EWS technology would remove all petroleum hydrocarbons and suspended solids from the wastewater before reverse osmosis treatment at the site. After the removal of contaminants, the water will be considered suitable for re-use via fracking, which needs clean water to ensure proper dosing of the chemicals used in the process.
OriginClear’s technologies division president, Jean-Louis Kindler, said the market window provided via the partnership with Sinopec would validate the company’s technology and had “potential to disrupt the Chinese market”. He added: “We intend to scale up our operations in China, with the support and sponsorship of provincial governments.”
Sinopec said recently that it expected to enhance production capacity at Fuling to 10 bcm per year by the end of 2017. Water is a valuable commodity in China, where, according to the UN, 21% of the world’s population has access to just 7% of the world’s freshwater supplies.
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